Childless by Eugenie Theall


We were seventeen when I paid for my best friend’s

abortion, helped answer the doctor’s questions,

drove her to my house, lay by her side while she slept. 

A coworker had her tubes tied after her second

C-section, said her husband always wanted girls.

The janitor no longer says my name,

only: So, are you married yet? 

My brother scolds: Stop looking for men

in the L section of the library. L is for loser.

You wasted too much time at school. 

His wife adjusts the bow on their Terrier. 

The baby born after me was a lump

of red gelatin on the white-tiled floor.

For years, I believed Stefanie died

because I never wanted a sister. 

My grandmother refused to wet her bed.

No nurse to hand her a bedpan, an infection sparked,

swept through her uterus. Now, I’ll never

have a son; carried my mother home, unnamed. 






About The Author:



Eugenie Juliet Theall’s work has been published in multiple literary magazines including Apalachee Review, Carquinez Poetry Review, The Chaffin Journal, CQ, Curbside Review, Eclipse, Hampden-Sydney Poetry Review, Hawai‘i Pacific Review, Illuminations, Limestone, Lullwater Review, Mudfish, Oregon East Magazine, Passager, Quercus Review, Red Rock Review,The Distillery, and Slipstream. Her work won first place in the Elizabeth McCormack contest and was published in the Spring 2008 issue of Inkwell.  In 2007, she earned her fourth degree, an MFA in Poetry from Sarah Lawrence.  Currently, she teaches Creative Writing at Rye Neck Middle and High School.