Literary Mama writing about the many faces of motherhood


The ultrasound picked up
the black hole of her embryo's sac.
Her uterus, a death cradle,
holds an almost-child,
eight weeks in the making.
She had an idea it was a she.

This miscarriage feels nothing like her first,
where she asked a doctor to scrape
and vacuum her insides.
She did not want to see
the centimeter-long nubbin
fall out of her;
she felt like a tomb.

One week after her second embryo stopped growing,
she thinks of her uterus as a waterbed,
where a tiny organism sits, softly decomposing,
skin flaking away in the crest
of her uterine crib

She thinks of the almost-child--
webbed fingers
mismatched organs,
translucent skin--
and she wants to touch her.

She imagines a cute, dead embryo.
And then she wonders if that is possible:
a cute, dead embryo.

Jennifer Jordan Schaller teaches English at Central New Mexico Community College. Her nonfiction has been published in Sonora Review, Brain, Child, and is forthcoming from Georgetown Review. She also had a piece appear on NPR’s This American Life. This is her first poetry publication, of which she is very, very proud. Poetry is her first love.

More from

Touching piece.
Miscarriages are so sad and a mother' relationship with her miscarried baby is so complex. Having had a miscarriage and a stillbirth, this gives voice to thoughts and feelings and sense of love and loss that continue in an ever so quiet but real way after the miscarriage. Thank you for giving a poetic voice to this experience.
Comments are now closed for this piece.