Not My Body by Sarosh Nandwani

I would like to have my own
body. One allowed to declare
a childless future and
not be told of its mutability. I am
not saying it will
not change – rather, I want to relieve
others of the heavy responsibility
of telling me my future is
not what I imagined. “You
are still young,” they say.
Did you think I did
not know this?

“What if your husband wants
a child?” First, it is bold of you
to assume I will get married.
Further, that it will be to a man.
And last, do you really think if
I am telling you I do
not want kids that I will
not tell a partner?
Thank you for the warning, for
assuming my folly, my
lack of self-awareness.

I have already raised
my little brother. Mom called me
Little Mama. Bathed, and wiped,
watched, and played with, fed, and
comforted. Never to her extent,
but to some extent. He
is still my child, and I would
die for him. So do
not tell me my maternal instincts have
not kicked in yet. I have
them. I would just prefer they
not be kicking inside me.

(Even if I did
not have maternal instinct, it should
not be a problem.)

I am
not your microwave, your
oven, your incubator.
“But God made you to have
children,” you say. “If God had
intended otherwise, He would
have made you different.”
I was made into this, is that
not enough?

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