Literary Mama writing about the many faces of motherhood
In the Library Bathroom, 2010




Outside, people read their books
And life carried on
While I stood in the bathroom
Waiting, waiting for one line to appear on that
White stick, hinged onto the future.
Instead, two lines appeared
And nothing else existed.

The intricate tile on the floor faded
Ancient light fixtures dimmed
The mirror reflected what was already known:

There was no need to decode:
Plus, minus; dots, lines--

One for no, two for yes.

It was almost spring,
The traditional time of
Rebirth, regeneration.

Life held on stubbornly,
A barnacle in the uterus.

I wanted none of that.



But it came anyway
When heaves wrenched the body
Instead of stretchmarks and cravings

Flashes of heat, waves of cold
Coursed throughout
Exiting through the palms and soles of the feet
Until the last biting undulation of muscle
Culminated in release.



Now the heat of summer,
Warm in its beginning.

In the room
Everything is white-
Stripped down to gowns
Then going down in…one…two…

…Awake! No witness as to how,
But that of why.--
Reasons that made sense, that were responsible.

There is no more room for swimming
The channels of motherhood--
Passages closed, stitched up, dry.

Kris Underwood is a mother to one girl. Her work has appeared in MotherVerse, The Missouri Review, The Barefoot Review, and others. Please visit her at her blog to find out more.

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Wow! Brave, and bare-naked honest. Thank you, Kris, for sharing.
Gorgeous & devastating. Amazing.
Thanks Melissa and Meg. Bare-naked honest is the only way I write!
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