anna poisson

eating babies

© annapoisson 2018


I was a girl I had no doubt about someday becoming a mother. I don’t know where the thoughtless sentiment came from, I just know it always was there. When I was in my 20’s this persuasion started to fade, possibly due to using artificial hair coloring. While earlier considerations about my future circled around “once I am a mother”, now an “if” became a startling possibility.

In the Roman Catholic tradition, there is a special place for virgin Mary. She thrones above all humans but is subordinated to her child. She deserves attention only as the mother of the savior of the world. Mary’s fate is to remain silent, sacrifice and endure.

Rosary was the item I chose in the traditional fortune-telling game on my first birthday. It expressed my commitment to religion and to the holy family order. All the signs were set.


you are a mother you never want to stop being one”, a mother of five told me recently. “The third trimester is the best. Everybody finally notices that you are pregnant”, assured me a mother of four. It makes you feel good, I guess.

“My child”, “I have children”, “they belong to me” - it sounds like ownership. It is hard to deny this right to mothers who went through the months of pregnancy, the months of sleep deprivation, the months of nipple biting.
I haven’t yet paid off my freedom. My mother wants a baby of my own.

When you are a mother impossible conditions become possible, unimaginable sacrifices become bearable. “You will understand once you experienced it”, they say with mysterious looks on their faces. It sounds like a cult to me: First sign up, then you will see.


you do not know what you are signing up for the array of expectations is wide. So is the array of disappointments. It is hard for me to commit just like that.

A woman’s body can deal with the parasitical state of pregnancy in order to secure the survival of the human kind. Now that the future of our species seems not endangered, my contribution seems not redundant.

Still, I commonly find myself justifying why I did not bear any children, rather than asking for reasons why people had done so. On those occasions I am careful not to mention the cats that sleep in my bed.


stepchildren will never belong to me as they already belong to their mother. I do not ever see my stepdaughter, she is inseparable. I see half of my stepson growing up, struggling with school, being torn between his parents. I look at him and do not see myself. I resent him for that but it’s a relief. He will never owe me anything.

The older I get the more I struggle with the idea of (non-) motherhood. This project is about my journey and what I observe, imagine, dream of and dre