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.

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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.