You end me
like a period

ends a sentence,
ends a line.


Copyright © 2019 by Wendy Chin-Tanner. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on September 24, 2019, by the Academy of American Poets.

About this Poem

“In between the births of my two daughters, I experienced two miscarriages and two years of fertility treatment. Some time later, I was teaching a creative writing workshop on short form poetry and ‘Infertility’ emerged as a response to a prompt examining aspects of Poem 9 ‘I broke your heart’ and Poem 62 ‘You are, my dear’ from Vera Pavlova's collection If There Is Something to Desire: 100 Poems. While writing it, this poem revealed certain aspects of the experience of infertility that had not been legible to me until that moment—the way in which for women, infertility evokes discourses of legacy and mortality. In our culture, we are socialized to believe that the legacies of men are forged by their deeds and accomplishments, whereas childbearing is the primary way in which women leave their marks upon the world. This poem grapples with the misogyny of these discourses and dramatizes the second-wave feminist credo that ‘the personal is political.’”
Wendy Chin-Tanner