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Stephen Dunn

Author Bio

Stephen Dunn
Photo by Andrea Dunn

Stephen Dunn is the author of 16 books of poems, including the recent Here and Now and What Goes On. His Different Hours was awarded the Pulitzer Prize. He lives in Frostburg, Maryland.

To My Student Who Said He Wanted to Lead a Coherent Life

Do you know the story
of the sperm and the tipped uterus,
the story in which
a doctor arrives to say nothing
will ever connect?
It's a story a woman once told me,
less well known
than the immaculate birth
but equally interesting,
magical in a reverse sort of way.
Another doctor said the story
could have a happy ending—
though it might be sad,
depending on who wished what.
I just wanted to tell you
I married someone else
and this story
had nothing to do with my choice.
I met her on a subway train
during a snowstorm
that hadn't been predicted.
The train was crowded.
Everything we did
couldn't be avoided.

Prairie Schooner, Vol. 57, No. 1 (Spring 1983), p. 32