Who is the narrator in "the mother" speaking to?

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The speaker in the poem "the mother" is addressing all the children she has aborted in the past. She speaks to them with a mixture of regret and confusion as she considers all of the life experiences that she has "seized" from them. She tells these children that:

If I stole your births and your names
Your straight baby tears and your games,
Your stilted or lovely loves, your tumults, your marriages, aches, and your deaths

that they should know that her intentions were not "deliberate." There is personal conviction in her pleading tone here as she accepts the responsibility that she deliberately chose to abort them, but that the outcomes, the personal lives she has ended, were not a deliberate act. She also doesn't want to "whine," acknowledging that the choice she made was hers alone.

This speaker goes on to question whether they were really representative of life at all:

Since anyhow you are dead.
Or rather, or instead,
You were never made.
But that too, I am afraid,
Is faulty.

She questions how to even categorize these children she has chosen to abort. She notes that they were born, they had bodies, and they died. However, they never enjoyed the chance to laugh, plan, or cry.

The significance of the title is important in analyzing the speaker as well. She addresses these aborted children as their "mother," which is significant in the closing as she notes that she "loved [them] all." Though they never lived apart from her, this speaker (and mother) still claims each one as her own child.

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