Eloise Klein Healy is Los Angeles' poet laureate and this past summer, at a house-warming/birthday party with the most delicious ceviche, we visited about her forthcoming book of poetry, A Wild Surmise. She was the founding chair of Antioch where I worked on my mfa. We are part of a community of LA writers.
This week, as I reflect on the early days of Kiara's life, I read this poem and realized I gave up a beloved animal for my child. But I also don't like to be watched while I eat.
By Eloise Klein Healy
I am thinking about romance and its purpose.
Children and why I didn't have any.
I would have left the cave and them with it
or I would have tied them to me forever
with my own sad dreams and finicky order.
I've liked young animals better.
I could put their heads in my mouth.
I could lick and clean them like a mother,
but I could not raise a child.
The first thing a child should see
is the pink sunrise of a nipple, not the green wind
of a branch whipping in passing.
I chose to keep animals around me instead
because we are the same. We have habits
and make strange circles before we sleep.
We don't like to be watched while we eat.