Not until my parents entered their 90s/ did I long for a sister, a nurse I named Mary,


(poetry diary 46) My five-year-old likes to poke me in the belly sometimes, hoping to find push-back from another baby is growing in there.  There is not another baby growing in there and will not be another baby growing in there, because I am old.

I don’t usually feel guilty or worried about having an only child, except when I think about what my family and those of friends are going through re: elderly parents, and of how much easier it can be to deal with that when one has siblings.

Ah, well–if Billy Collins could get through this, my son can too.

Note: I posted a Billy Collins poem yesterday, too, but couldn’t not post this other one after finding it today in an article at the Wall Street Journal called

Billy Collins on Being an Only Child, and Why Majoring in Poetry Is Like Majoring in Death – Barbara Chai – Wall Street Journal – October 3, 2016

Only Child

Billy Collins


I never wished for a sibling, boy or girl.

Center of the universe,

I had the back of my parents’ car

all to myself. I could look out one window

Read rest of poem 

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