The Neverweres

by Harriet Sohmers Zwerling

The oldest, with the Cuban father…
a one-night stand in his U.N. office,
would be 55 this year.
The next, Italian, not born in 1961,
would now be aged 53,
and the youngest, only 46.
I expelled them from my womb
with no regrets.
Now, though, old and losing friends,
I think, one might have been a girl,
a loving companion, or a boy,
literary, brilliant, devoted,
or an explorer who took me along
on his adventures.

And the one I kept, now 50 and a father,
would have the siblings he
always wanted, to share in the care
of this old woman,
who asks so much.

Harriet Sohmers Zwerling, a retired teacher and former Paris resident is the author of Notes of a Nude Model, 2004 and Abroad, an Expatriate’s Diaries, 2014. She is also a cinephile and a grandmother.