Literary Mama writing about the many faces of motherhood
The News


One day and one week ago, we were happy-go-lucky.
Just out of school. My poems actually being published.
The two of us off to a new country next year. Then

I went skiing. You bought a pregnancy test.
Two pink lines that read like a million verses in a million
possible poems. The week rolled on like weeks do,

you bled a little, and all the books looked like they
could close. Saturday morning and the Georgian doctor
who hadn’t smiled since the Soviet Union. We talk

in an office being relocated, operation table
carried right past us as we wait for the news. Last menstruation?
A month. Abortions? None. What vitamins? Folic acid,

B6, and Magnesium. And then a cross-town drive with
a nurse, a driver, and a Volkswagen that takes five minutes
to start. Past the Azerbaijani Embassy to a more fashionable

hospital, made-up nurses in high-heel boots, button-
down black blouses and short skirts under their scrubs.
We are led into a room with a curtain. I expect a wizard

and a heart but only see you, your belly, an ultrasound
machine and a woman who doesn’t speak much English.
On the screen, three pods. I think, Oh, our little creature

has three cells. The woman says, Tree. I say, Triplets? You can’t
see but smile. The woman says, Sami and holds up three fingers,
I look at the screen and see three, but now three separate

seeds, three like my little brothers but I’m the father,
and I think, Normal! My brothers three John the Baptists,
my seed the fulfillment, these three in your belly

the incarnation of my life’s meaning. Normal! My twin uncles,
triplet brothers, your biological father’s twins--a fulfillment
always written on my sperm, your eggs, our DNA--

the DNA they’ll share like a fatherhood I’ll share with my
father. Father of three, you not mother, but Mary
carrying your own trinity of children, three little beans,

our hypothetical babies now peas on the screen.
And where do we go from here? Now,
our diving sperm and egg divining, defining three times

a mother. O, holy saint of motherhood. To have three in one
setting, to have the world in your belly cut open to unveil
a biological trinity, mystical babies! And me the definition

of father on the spot--us, a mathematical conundrum:
1 + 1 equals 5! The impossible possibilities that happen
when human: a man one day, pilgrim the next,

titles like the road we are set to follow,
the word "triplet" becoming flesh. When the threefold universe--
these three fates--of cells crack the womb,

O, sweet finite definition of the infinite mother! My oh my oh my…
These human souls! Cigars.
Ah, cigars! Cigars for everyone!

Timothy Kercher lived overseas for the last six years–four years in Georgia and two in Ukraine–and has now moved back to his home in Dolores, Colorado, where he lives with his wife Allison, twin toddler girls Ketevan and Ani, and his just born bouncing baby boy, Keats. He is a high school English teacher and has worked in five countries: Mongolia, Mexico, and Bosnia being the others. His poems and translations have appeared or are forthcoming in a number of recent literary publications, including Crazyhorse, Versal, Plume, upstreet, Bateau, The Minnesota Review, and others.

More from

What a joyous poem - I love the 'mathematical conundrum,' and 'carrying you own trinity of children.' Powerful and poignant. Thank you!
so exciting-- what a celebration of life and family. love it.
Comments are now closed for this piece.