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U3A Writing: And Then?

Lee Cohen’s poem muses on the most important question ever asked.

When I was small, about 4 years old, I got a little brother.
He looked rather cute I thought at the time and he too came out of my mother.
I asked her if she would have more babies, and give me another and another
“Don’t be silly,” she said. “Ënough is enough. It will take me years to recover.”

But if she could do it twice, I began to wonder, why could she not go on?
“What if something happened to either of us and either of us was gone?”
She should make a spare, maybe a daughter or a son
So’s not to be left with just one.

“Babies are beings,” she tried to explain. “They don’t get replaced like spare parts.”
“They’re human and function with real kidneys and hearts
And right from conception it starts.”

“Conception!” I thought. “What a big word!”
“So that’s how I came, not from that huge bird?”
“Me and my brother....
But I would have preferred
To fly rather than be pushed.....
Well, if it ever recurred.”

When my brother could talk, I asked what he thought
But all he could say was “As long as you get caught,”
Hrummph! That was the only discussion he brought!
Now, I had to wait for school, and get taught.

But I wanted to know what brought us and why.
Painful being born, to eventually die?
As we arrive, we already start to cry
For the day that we leave, and have to say, “Goodbye.”

And then in between we just do some stuff
Whatever it is, will the time be enough?
There are worries too because some days get rough
Oh well, let’s pretend that it’s all merely bluff.


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