At the Sociology Conference

She told us that even basic research
questions can be hard.

For example, she said –
paused to pour
a glass of water, time enough
to gather her words –
how many children have you got?

I’ve lost a daughter, she said,
so how would I answer that?

At that point, she sat down,
rested her head back as if the ceiling
might know which category to tick.

I registered the thought as sad;
stored it away as a piece of someone else’s life,
but at that point, I had never been pregnant
and was probably looking ahead,
wondering what would be for lunch.

At that point, I’d never lost any daughters.
At that point, I had all the answers to give.



Claire Walker‘s poetry has appeared in magazines, anthologies and webzines. She is a Reader for Three Drops Press and Co-Editor of Atrium poetry webzine. Her latest pamphlet, Somewhere Between Rose and Black, was published by V. Press in December 2017. Twitter: @ClaireWpoetry