Writings and Witterings

A Song for Two Voices


‘Like you with your birth mother,
‘Times were very different then,
‘Dad never saw her again.

‘He had a daughter, that was OK,
‘But his wife went to Australia to get away …
‘The bloke she met adopted the child.

‘She was the one considered ‘wild’
‘In the UK, before she shot off for ten quid,
‘Do you think that extreme, just to have a kid?’

‘Women couldn’t have kids unless they were wed.’

‘Christ! That attitude makes me see red!’

‘Mums’ bore the stigma of unwedded birth,
‘The product of love, the cause of sick smirks.
‘Do not judge, but rather try to understand,
‘Birth mothers could not, would not make a stand.
‘You’ve seen the TV series about long lost families
‘Could you deny having a child? Ha! My lovelies,
‘Times change so quickly, it’s ironic,
‘What went on then, is now almost mythic.’

‘She must miss you even if she is still in denial’

‘Maybe she’s not maternal, simply not loyal,’

‘She thinks of you each year on your birthday,
‘It’s unavoidable, come what may …’

‘But what if she doesn’t?’

Polly Stretton © 2012

Claudia’s great prompt for dVerse Poetics tonight is about letting go.


37 thoughts on “A Song for Two Voices

  1. Wow. That double standard still stings, and you might have just tweaked my muse with this….


  2. “But what if she doesn’t?” That is a hell of a question!


  3. Seriously, though – I’d like to hear this read by two voices…. I think it’s one to be heard.
    The last line made me gasp a little – but you can see why. It’s like a little discordant twang that brings us up short. Nice.


  4. Pingback: double standards | Susan Daniels Poetry

  5. wow quite the story you tell…would be hard to think of giving up a child…and i know some could not help it and the child better off with a family that could take care of them…help them rise above where they would…interesting how you work this as a conversation as well…zinger of a last line …


    • It must be really tough to give up a child, and tough for the child to be given up. Some understand, some do not. It is a terribly complex area. Thank you, Brian for commenting.


  6. I love the title. Thought provoking take on the complexities of adoption with a heartbreaking ending.


    • Adoption is something that raises many emotions in many people, from those who have had a child adopted to the adoptees themselves. With all the people supporting have strong views. It can destroy families yet make a better life for others both inside and outside the families. As you say, Heidi, a complex thing to write about. Glad you appreciate the title ~ there is often tragedy in the world of adoption.


  7. Also, really funny conversation in the comments.


  8. familiar story….interesting conversation after….seriously good write with just the right tone and lingo!!


  9. …tough situation you portray here and it saddens me deeply… some roughly dramatic lines and i want to hear it read & recorded… just to have an affirmation of the emotions raised… smiles…


    • Kelvin, you’re the second person to say you’d like to hear it … I’ll see what can be done and let you and Holly know should I record it with a second voice 🙂


  10. i think it’s so tough if you have to give away your child for whatever reason… a friend of mine takes care of babies who are given away by their parents right after birth until they find a fam for them to stay.. i like the two voices format as well..


    • Yes, it has to be a desperately hard decision to make, one that many people fail to comprehend. Your friend must be in a position to see the gamut of emotions people go through at such times. I know someone who works at tracing birth parents and there are some happy and some tragic stories to be told.

      Good to see you liked the two voices format ~ thanks for your comments Claudia 🙂


  11. I can’t imagine giving up a child. Although, I did give mine up, in a way, when their mother and I divorced. I missed so much of their childhood, and even their adult lives. And, on the flip side of the coin, my birth father gave me, my brother, and my sister up for adoption to our stepdad. He never contacted us after that. Just walked away forever. I’m sure he had his reasons, but it still hurts.


  12. How difficult to give up a child; but then again someone who was not able to have a child was happy to receive that child into their life. I can’t help but feel joy for the child given a chance at life and for the adoptive parents; but I am sure many birth parents eventually have regrets. In this day, however, they CAN do a search…….IF they want to. The question at the end though zings!


  13. Wow… this is amazing… thought-provoking. Love the conversational presentation, Polly. It’s so sad there was such a stigma of unwed pregnancy, but thankfully, time’s have changed.


  14. Interesting dialogue on a tough subject — one I have never experienced personally or with any close friends — fortunately, rather alien to me. Seems you’ve handled all that complexity well.


  15. well if she doesnt, it is a life begun,
    and hopefully the new family can hold her tight =)
    we are so transient.


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