I do not want children, yet I hide this from my 
She speaks of motherhood, pregnancy, asks 
To her sister who has twin girls, shares photos 
With me
Of her friends’ newborns. Aren’t they adorable, 
She asks.
Look at how magical they are, she says. Yes, yes, I 
They are. Absolutely beautiful, I add. And I mean 
These words.
It is not fatherhood that scares me. That, I could 
Do well.
But rather, it’s this world, where plastic is 
What we bequeath 
Where cancer is our blood type, 
Where people
Continue to debate evolution yet smile as the 
Heard thins. Yes,
I know, butterflies. Yes, I know, vistas of Pacific. 
Yes, I understand
Potential, free will, revolutionaries. But what if 
That isn’t enough?
What if, one day, long after my child takes her 
First steps, she comes
Over to me, holds my hand, and says, Daddy, why 
Did you bring me here?
I thought you loved me.


Mathieu Cailler is an award-winning author whose poetry and prose have been widely featured in numerous national and international publications, including the Los Angeles Times and The Saturday Evening Post. A graduate of Vermont College of Fine Arts, he is the winner of a Short Story America Prize, a Shakespeare Award, and a Best Microfiction Prize. He is the author of six books, just finished his first feature-length screenplay and is hard at work on a YA novel.