The Son That He Wanted

Wasted sperm.

My father’s assessment of me when I managed to fail
him in one of the many ways he kept count of. I was
ingenious, it seemed, at finding yet another manner
through which I could disappoint him, though my
intention was, of course, to make him proud.

I was his son, but not the son that he wanted.

Frequently, he cursed the sperm cell that created me.
Held that very one in contempt, despite the fact that
it overtook the millions, swimming through the birth
canal, up the blood-rich uterus, to penetrate the one
egg cell descending — its homing.

“I should've shot that load in my hand and washed you
down the drain,” he once declared in frustration.

Not what I should be thinking of as I lie with my
wife, but my father’s words center me. My wife hungers
for a child I am unwilling to create, and she sighs —
in sadness, in disgust — as I pull away.

Her sigh does not bind me.

I pull away, my seed spilling across her. Spilling,
but not, I believe, entirely wasted.

Gwendolyn Joyce Mintz is a fiction writer and
poet. She can be reached at

© 2005 Underground Voices