Biographical Poetry posted September 11, 2017

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A young nurse shares the first part of her story.

Decisions (The very first of many)

by RN Scrubadub

2,500 miles away from home
she wept to her mother over the phone.

"Please, Mom! What do I do?"

"I can't do this!
I can't do this...
"I can't do this alone."
She sighed.

Her mother's soft voice cut through the static.



But nonetheless emphatic.

"My child...
This decision is yours to make.
I love you, but the burden of this decision,
I cannot take.
If you were to take heed
of all my advice,
but have a change of mind
later on down the road
resentment of me would seed
into your heart
and sooner or later
start to erode."

She nodded her head,
though her mom could not see
just how much her last words
then impacted thee.

"Just remember,
come what may,
I love you no matter what.
And I've had no greater joy in this world
than raising you
even when you are a pain in the butt."

Long after the line fell dead
her mother's words
saturated the air 
stimulating the hair that laid on her head.
Each word penetrated,
sinking like a stone in a pond,
thoughts swarmed like fish
fleeting, back and forth 
to and fro,
and beyond.
She could not yet follow 
to where they might have lead,
because those words of comfort
could not completely obliterate the dread
that gripped her mind like an iron vice
or unravel the ambiguity in her mother's advice 

A child she was
at the edge of her bed.
A child within,
to keep alive or dead.
This was her decision,
her burden alone to bear,
to choose life or oblivion
so she knelt in prayer.
She begged for an answer
she hoped was out there
Three days later 
it became transparently clear.
It hit her head on
like headlight striking a deer. 

For three days 
she had told herself,
"I could make this all go away,"
as she fought fatigue,
and stomach sickness,
and all of pregnancy's dismays.
"It's murder," she thought.
"But it could all go away."
"I'm too scared!" she fought.
"It will be scary either way."
She thought she knew
the right thing to do (for her).

"I need to finish nursing school,"
was the most potent thought to occur.
It made the most logical sense,
but the thought did not settle right.
She felt her body becoming tense.

Her knuckles turned white
against the steering wheel.
She closed her eyes for a moment
wishing none of it were real.
A blaring horn. 
A sharp inhale.
She veered her car from the rail.

She would reach the clinic soon,
destination Planned Parenthood,
appointment for J_ _ _ _ M_ _ _ _ _
scheduled for thirty minutes past noon.

She turned the radio dial
and tapped her fingers to a familar tune. 

A woman sang to her:

"You gotta be bad, you gotta be bold,
you gotta be wiser. You gotta be hard, 
you gotta be tough, you  gotta be stronger.

You gotta be cool, you gotta be calm,
you gotta stay together.
All I know, 
all I know,
love will save the day."

The last words of the song stained her lips
as they parted with barely an audible whisper.

Save...the day..."

"What if I CAN do this?"
"I'll be okay."
"Maybe I CAN do this?"
She heard herself say.
She took a small sip of the idea
of being a mother.
Then another,
and another,
until she drained the cup
with visions of a child
running around naked and wild.
She smiled.
A new thought began to surface.

"Those who have followed this path...
some are left to regret and wonder
all their life.
(Not all, but some)
Could she bear the possible strife? 
She continued to ponder.
Her mind reached further out yonder.

"But no mother, ever have I known,
ever regretted a child they had sown."


And then a wave of relief
washed over me
I took the next exit
to turn around 
along with the decision I made
that to this child,
my life was forever bound.


This is autobiographical with no embellishments to the first decision I ever truly made as an "adult." I was 22 at the time. I am almost 24 now. This life changing decision was followed with many more. When I look back from where I am now, I can see all the major decisions that brought me here. This is a continuing poetic saga that highlights those pivotal turns in my life.

The picture shown is my actual ultrasound.
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