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"The Mother" by Gwendolyn Brooks

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"The Mother" by Gwendolyn Brooks

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In a world in which abortion is considered either a woman's right or a sin against God, the poem "The Mother" by Gwendolyn Brooks gives a voice to a mother lamenting her aborted children through three stanzas in which a warning is given to mothers, an admission of guilt is made, and an apology to the dead is given. The poet-speaker, the mother, as part of her memory addresses the children that she "got that [she] did not get" (Brooks 206). The shift in voice from stanza to stanza allows Brooks to capture the grief associated with an abortion by not condemning her actions, nor excusing them; she merely grieves for what might have been. The narrator's longing and regret over the children she will never have is highlighted by the change in tone throughout. You can feel the remorse she is going through when reading the poem. She is regretful, yet explains that she had no other choice. It is a heartfelt poem where she talks about how she will not be able to do certain things for the children that she aborted. This poem may be a reflection of what many other women are dealing with.

The first stanza starts off with "Abortions will not let you forget"(Brooks 206), which sounds like the woman is talking in general terms. She is talking about how future experiences will never take place. Things like "You will never wind up the sucking-thumb or scuttle off the ghosts that come"(206), are some of the many that will not be done. In a way, the women being told this are reminded of the pain they are going through.” Many suffer from PAS(Post Abortion Syndrome) a term that has been used to describe the emotional and psychological consequences of abortion. Whenever we go through a traumatic experience, without the opportunity to process the experience emotionally, we can expect a delayed negative reaction. We live in a society that ignores the painful consequences of abortion. Men and women who have experienced it are urged into denial, so they do not talk about and process...