by Cristina Nehring (December 2023)
I am the infant you scorned
I am the girl you almost lost
I am the babe you left to cry
In hopes that I’d come to die.
I am the powerhouse you took for a louse,
The emergent queen you took for too lean,
Too fragile to contend with you.
How wrong you were my native beast;
It takes a feast to mark what has occurred;
A fourth and fifth would stay its course.
Let slight rival might,
As with me and you, and you and me
and the adorned Christmas tree
gleaming with blubs and lights,
intended to extinguish fights
between frail and strong
and frail as strong.
Cristina Nehring published The Child Who Never Spoke: 23 1/2 Lessons in Fragility on October 24, 2023. She is also the author of A Vindication of Love which made the front page of the New York Times Book Review as well as of two books in French. She writes for the Atlantic, Harper’s, the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal. She lives in Paris with her daughter.
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