Pat Matsueda

Pat Matsueda founded the Ms. Aligned project, which seeks to help the genders understand each other through the writing of women. She is the managing editor of Mānoa: A Pacific Journal of International Writing and the author of Stray (a collection of poetry) and Bedeviled (a novella). With Lillian Howan and Angela Nishimoto, she recently produced the 2019 issue of Vice-Versa.


Excerpt from “To My Unborn Son”

To My Unborn Son
an apology

Years ago yes I could have had you
You could have been born and stretched
my world around you

A life doesn’t happen that way, though
Desire grows on a thought, a feeling
and extends itself, trying to grasp
what it wants

Excerpt from Statement

The word apology has two meanings: acknowledging and expressing regret for an action; and, as the alternate form of apologia, defending one’s actions. I called “To My Unborn Son” an apology because I wanted to draw on both meanings, believing they are two parts of a whole intention.

Deciding not to have a child after conceiving it is a conscious act that, to some people, requires acknowledgement and expression of regret. In the case of my poem, the soul to whom the apology is addressed is the unborn child.