Poetry Archive

When You Beget

Provided by Christina Springer

You get what you get, when you get a child.
It's not your job to mold them
or change them
or coerce them
or manipulate them
or harangue them
or beat them into being

what you want. Is to be
in relationship with the human
you created & guide it into being ~

themself. They are

not you. You do not know

what they brought with them when they arrived.
You do not control
every other human
with whom they will interact.
You are not their only influence.
They are not who they become because of or

in spite of you. The whole world shapes your child.

Your job is to witness.
Your job is to show up.
Your job is to offer information
& the occasional hard won piece of wisdom.

Your job is to be such a great version of yourself
that they strive to take a little bit of who they perceive you to be
& twist
     & shape
          & massage it
               into connecting 
                           with the being 
they are constructing 

for themselves
using the tools you put in their tool belt
gathered by attending life’s dramas, goings on,
experiences, pitfalls, & happenings 

to build the kind of life 
they want to make 
for themselves.

You get what you get. 
What you do with yourself as a result of them 
is up to you. Hopefully, 
they’ll make you a better person.

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Filed under: Poetry Archive


Christina Springer is an Alt.Black artist who uses text, performance, video and other visual expressions. Cave Canem shaped her voice. Her fourth collection of poetry, The Splooge Factory, was released by Frayed Edge Press in November 2018. Currently finishing its cross country exhibition is Futuristic Relics & Motherboards Sacred: a collection of 75 paintings, fabric, mixed media objects and texts from the museum of our Black utopian womanist future. Springer resides in Pittsburgh where she home educates her son.