You fell in love with the handsome
cousin you met when you moved to
New York, fresh from business college,
to start a job for a famous company
that designed women’s shoes. You were
intelligent, ambitious, full of energy,
of gaiety. You imagined a life together
in which you’d each leave behind that
immigrant childhood poverty each of
you knew, though to differing degrees.
You married him on November
fourteenth, nineteen twenty-seven.

You loved him for his sensuality,
his playful imagination, whimsical
wit. So what if he worked a boring
job? He was intelligent if uneducated,
dropped out of school at six when
his mother died, took on caring for
a brood of younger siblings neglected
by his father. He loved music, poetry,
art; there was no way for him to earn
a living doing anything he cared for.
It didn’t matter; you were ambitious,
you would go far. The journey would
be made pleasant by your consort.

On November sixteenth, nineteen
twenty-seven you gave birth to your
first child, a boy. When did you find
out you were pregnant? What did
you think, feel, imagine? Did you
realize that the birth of a child
would be the death of your hopes?