They Said

they said
by sheila ganz

they said i had to go to a home for unwed mothers
they never asked me what i wanted to do

they said my baby should have a mother and a father
they never gave me a choice to help me see it through

they said the line on my belly would disappear
they never mentioned the wound in my heart

they said go on with your life and pretend it didn’t happen
they never told me i would grieve all the years we’re apart

they said i should be happy now that i’m free
they never admit my flesh and blood has been amputated from me

they said i could get married and other children would call me mother
they never said one person does not replace another

they said why worry she has a good life
they never listen to how the pain of not knowing cuts like a knife

they said it’s against the law to search and find her
they never knew this was my heart’s desire

they said she’s still young and has other things on her mind
they never say you’re getting older you’ve been waiting a long time

they said when she has children she’ll want to know me
they never concede i missed sharing her life she never sat on my knee

they said if i loved my baby i’d sign the paper and leave that day
she said, don’t tell me you love me you gave me away

2023 (c) Sheila Ganz