Too Many To Count – Kristiana Reed


3 weeks – she nestles

deep into her mother,

into her past and future.


5 weeks – she swims

tail fluttering

in the amniotic wind.


8 weeks – she moves

with tiny fingers

and toes.


11 weeks – she’s kicking

and dancing,

drawing circles within.


13 weeks – she has fingerprints

and two million eggs,

a city of pinks.


16 weeks – she’s a girl

with edges and bones

with nape of the neck curls.


19 weeks – she’s a girl who listens,

sees, touches, tastes and smells,

who won’t be reported missing.


20 weeks – she’s a girl,

a prayer, a disappointment,

a loss, an appointment.



Disclaimer: This was written for our series on the exploitation of women. This week is about female infanticide. One of the common methods of carrying out this heinous act is sex selective abortion. This poem is raising awareness about this. Its purpose is not to criticise abortion or women who have had abortions.


Kristiana Reed juggles writing and teaching English; in both vocations she endeavours to remind people of their self worth and how dazzlingly beautiful the world can be.

You can read more of Kristiana’s writing at My Screaming Twenties

15 thoughts on “Too Many To Count – Kristiana Reed

  1. All early term abortion (before 20 weeks) is ethical because the fetus in incapable of suffering.
    A girl or woman should be able to have an early term abortion for ANY reason she wants and does not have to justify the reason to anyone.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Amanda,

      If you read the disclaimer on the original post, this poem is not stating early term abortion is unethical. I completely agree with you. What I do not agree with is sex selective abortion used in several countries around the world to commit female infanticide. The reason for the abortion is just because she is a girl and it is believed that girls are not valued in the same way as boys. Often, the choice of abortion isn’t even made by the mother but forced upon her.
      This poem was written to raise awareness about this practice not to criticise abortion itself. My apologies if it wasn’t interpreted this way.


      1. Are you just speaking for people who are being forced into abortion? Or for the fetuses too?
        This piece seems to focus on the fetus as the victim and not the girl/woman which is why I ask

        Liked by 1 person

      2. It is metaphorically exploring the loss of female life. It is about sex selective abortion – the weeks focus on foetal development but at 15/16 weeks when gender can be determined the focus changes from how a foetus grows to the decision to abort based on gender. Whether from the POV of foetus or woman – it is a comment on the use of abortion in some cultures to carry out female infanticide. It was written for The Whisper and the Roar’s series on the exploitation of women, this week focuses on female infanticide, which you read about below if you wish:


    2. Moreover, this poem does not state once about the suffering of the foetus. It explores the growth of a female which many see as insignificant and the tragedy that many countries have a disproportionate ratio of men to women due to female infanticide.


  2. Brava, Kristiana! A exceptional piece on this difficult subject. And kudos to you for your elegance and demeanor in handling a “drive-by heckling”. You are a powerful poet and you’ve done the subject matter justice.

    Liked by 1 person

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