If I Knew Then What I Know Now
by Nina Bennett

If I could have envisioned a squalling son who
nursed every two hours, didn’t sleep through the night
until he was six, scorned the authority
of middle-school teachers, spent a college
visitation weekend getting high, parked
his car in front of my house, driver’s side door gone,
would I have snuggled close that crisp October night,
whispered yes when my husband pushed into me, paused,
asked if we should make another child.

PHOTO: The author’s mother calms her five-week old grandson

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: After one of those generic, decades-long girlfriend conversations about would we have made different life decisions if we’d had a crystal ball, including would we have had children if we had known what it would really be like, I saw the “If I”  call for submissions. The squalling son has grown into a wonderful man!


Delaware native Nina Bennett is the author of Sound Effects (2013, Broadkill Press Key Poetry Series). Her poetry has been nominated for the Best of the Net, and has appeared or is forthcoming in publications that include Gargoyle, Napalm & Novocain, Houseboat, Bryant Literary Review, Yale Journal for Humanities in Medicine, Philadelphia Stories, and The Broadkill Review. Awards include 2014 Northern Liberties Review Poetry Prize and second-place in poetry book category from the Delaware Press Association (2014). Nina is a founding member of the TransCanal Writers (Five Bridges, A Literary Anthology).