Natural Selection

The end of children is the end of Time
And so
Their days unlived
The generations unborn
      of the voluntarily, diffidently, self-absorbedly childless

"Tiger and mosquito
      and microbe
            have not laid you low,
"Nor have famine
      and genetics
            and cancer
                  and war, individual or organized.
"Instead, the predator you did not
      learn enough to elude
            was your failure to sufficiently understand the gift of your life,
"The anesthesia of the trivial
      so inuring you to Eternity
"That for all of the necessary precious few moments
"You found yourself thinking instead
"Of inconvenience, discomfort, cost, 'freedom,'
      your fitness as a potential parent,
"Somehow never meeting 'the right guy'
      or a suitable 'good Christian girl'—
"Whatever chimera fit
      each new week's revision of your fantasy."

"It made such eminent good sense, childlessness,
"Reduced to just another choice in the face of heady career plans,
      fashionable gender confusion,
            passionate hobbies,
                  the prospect of first-time matings with an interminable succession of 'partners,'
                        the magnetic, reiterative pornography of ongoingly horrifying yourself,
                              your parents, or your parent-introjects
"With this most fundamental and final

Suicide by proxy is civilization's finest confection:
How sweet the imagined collective forgiveness of the uncountable progeny you fell!
You are the failure of the line that every previous generation must have preserved
To have produced you.

The end of children is the end of Time.
The end of children is the end of Time.

Copyright © 2004, 2006, 2008 by David Newkirk ( All rights reserved.