I said NO, over and over again,

I. SAID. NO.

I said NO sternly as your intern watched wide eyed, surprised at a patient’s mother objecting,

I. SAID. NO.

I said NO quietly as I pleaded with you on the phone, while he made a mess with his SpaghettiO’s,

I. SAID. NO.

I said NO angrily as I walked away from your colleagues,

I. SAID. NO.

I said NO nicely as he played happily with your stethoscope,

I.  SAID. NO.

I said NO in my worried requests for a different option,

I. SAID. NO.

I said NO in my insistence on your credentials and your assurance that he would be safe,

I. SAID. NO.

I said NO for an entire year,

I. SAID. NO.

I said NO in my hesitation moments before you took him from my arms.

I. SAID. NO.

I said NO in a just plain, loud, clear, and simple “NO”, and you did not misunderstand.

I. SAID. NO.

I. SAID. NO.

I. SAID. NO.

I. SAID. NO.

I. SAID. NO.

I am Rowan’s mother.  MY NO MATTERED S

and I am Rowan’s father.  MY NO MATTEREDS

see also NO. MEANS. NO.