Bewildering Stories discusses...
Born on a Friday in March
with James R. Rudolph
[Don Webb] Some readers say the poem “Born on a Friday in March” describes a rape. I don’t read it that way at all. It may help to write us a little note to tell us what you had in mind.
[James R. Rudolph] Don, you’re right, the piece isn’t about rape at all but about beginnings that seem at first to be inauspicious, even perhaps cursed, yet turn out to have been, rather, in the fullness of time, layered and complex, complicated but not doomed as might first have appeared. Thanks once more for the time and attention you’ve given to this piece.
[Don W.] Thanks, James. From experience, I know some readers will say the author’s intention — or interpretation — doesn’t count. Even so, I say that reading “unwanted sex” into the poem requires lifting passages out of context and writing, in effect, a poem that does not appear on the page.
I see the poem, rather, as a hopeful expression of existential honesty, without wishful thinking. I’ll toast that with a cup of espresso. Keep up the good work!