Originally published in Breaking Open (1973)
“You are not pregnant,” said the man
with the probe and the white white coat;
“Yes she is,” said all the little animals.
Then the great gynecologist examined. “You are not now,
and I doubt that you ever have been,” he said with
“Test me again.” He looked at his nurse and shrugged.
“Yes she is,” said all the little animals, and laid down their
lives for my son and me.
Twenty-one years later, my son a grown man and far away
at the other ocean,
I hear them : “Yes you are,” say all the little animals.
I see them, they move in great jumping procession through my waking hours,
those frogs and rabbits look at me with their round eyes,
they kick powerfully with their strong hind legs,
they lay down their lives in silence,
all the rabbits saying Yes, all the frogs saying Yes,
in the face of all men and all institutions,
all the doctors, all the parents, all the worldly friends, all the
psychiatrists, all the abortionists, all the lawyers.
The little animals whom I bless and praise and thank forever,
they are part of my living,
go leap through my waking and my sleep, go leap through
my life and my birth-giving and my death,
go leap through my dreams,
and my son’s life
and whatever streams from him.
(c) Muriel Rukeyser