Endowed in perpetuity by the Glenna Luschei Fund for Excellence

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