To Those Who Hate My Mother For Her Choice

I am the child that was never born

a fledgling bird nestled in the egg of my mother’s womb

whose flight feathers hadn’t even grown in before I was returned to the earth

my mother’s choice had me fading back into the sky

the carbon of my cells once more turned into stars

bones exhaled into the wind that dried the tears from her face

and as the sky and sea and earth I am everything that I could ever be

I am no longer the child that my mother never wanted

so listen to me, because even without a mouth I have a voice

do not despise my mother for her choice

she has so many faces and I love each and every one of them

the teenage girl that sobs into her pillow while the hushed words of her parents

rise up like heat through the floor boards – “she’s betrayed us, the slut”

the mother of four whose SNAP card crunches in her hands

as she holds the piece of plastic grinding further into her circumstances

there are endless lines of haunted faces whose bodies are war crimes

holding trembling hands to their stomachs as if to ward off this latest invasion

there is never a moment that I do not comfort her

whether it be in the crash of the ocean against her bare feet

or the summer grass that grows in a picture box beneath her window

I am the child that never was

the child that never became the oncoming Blitzkrieg

each breath bearing the slow rumble of enemy tanks

who was never the target of razored whispers in the high school hallway

that became sharp enough to cut the fragile skin of a girl’s wrists

whose stomach never protruded for want of being full

or stretched out with hands to a world that only adored me until I was born

Do not grieve for me

Because I have a mother who loved herself more than the world hated her

and who loved me too much to trace regret down the lines of my face

Not all of us are so blessed

to have a mother whose loves us so much

she returns us to the stars


Published by Ren Martinez

Ren is a thirty-something Lost Boy whose personal aesthetic is “suspected of witchcraft by local villagers.” She subscribes to cheerful nihilism, the destruction of the patriarchy, and the belief that glitter makes everything better. She is a Richmond-based writer and performer who has fiction and non-fiction work found in a variety of publications, such as The Mary Sue, RVA Magazine, The Quotable, and Nostrovia Press. She is currently the fiction editor and a regular contributor at Quail Bell Magazine. She is also the co-host of the podcast, This F***ing Guy! Find out more at or read her dumbass tweets on Twitter @itsrenmartinez

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