The Blue Pitcher

that which may be filled and emptied

Month: November, 2008

Gobble Gobble

Much to the annoyance of everyone I’ve run into in the past two days, I find infinite delight in these two simple words. Have a good day, they say; Gobble, gobble, I say; or, you’re one centimeter dilated, they say; Gobble, gobble, I say; or, Hello? Have you even looked at my paper? Aren’t you working? Where are you? they say.

Gobble?

"Vanity, Vanity…"

“…all is vanity,”
said the woman at thirty-eight and a half weeks pregnant
as she slipped into her paper bikini
and anxiously awaited her wax.
(Because, you know, giving birth is a heckuva lot like going to the beach!)

Stay tuned tomorrow for…
The Final Pedicure & The Emergency Eyelash Tint

Note to Self

It’s a Baby Bjorn,
not a Baby Bjork.

Week 38

This morning’s email tells me that my baby is now the length of a leek; but, try as I might, I can’t imagine the length of a leek; it seems too small; it seems as if we’ve gone backwards, as if the peppercorn-cum-plum-cum-peach stage shouldn’t be such a distant memory. Two nights ago, I slept fitfully, and in the earliest hours, I woke up and reached for my belly. I had been sleeping in a strange position, a position that when I reached for her made her so much smaller, and the room was dark and I was still half-dreaming, and it seemed, if only for a second, she was gone. In that moment my heart broke a thousand times. I suppose my body is trying to prepare me for all the love I’ll feel towards my daughter; God, I hope I can handle it.

Daddy’s Girls

I’m feeling oh-so occupied. I stare down at my wild kicking belly, and I’m certain that my students, my colleagues, my guy that serves my apple cinnamon tea with honey are staring too, thinking, Can’t you control your baby?

For months, I felt she was a part of me: an extension, a beautiful tender extension, but still very much me; now, though, with each day, she becomes more and more of her own creature.

Last night, pillow-propped in bed, reading yet-another birthing book, sipping on yet-another cup of uterus strengthening tea, I was trying to get her to move for me: Come on, baby girl, I was saying, come on, and my voice shook a little but was all sweet-mamalike and still nothing. Finally, C. came in–Kick, he said, and she kicked.

Hmm…a daddy’s girl already? Not quite sure how I feel about that…

Monday Again

“The poem is lonely. It is lonely and en route. Its author stays with it.”
–Paul Celan

[Outside, a freeze threatens;
in here (if I just close my eyes):
a thousand spots of heat.]

Realization #72

I actually can believe it’s not butter.

Week 37

Your baby is now the size of a free-with-purchase turkey; incidentally, you feel about the size of a Macy’s Day Float. Ginormous, you soar through the streets of New York City. Small children cover their heads in fear of your collapse; grown men step aside to make way; grown women shake their windblown hair and smile little secret smiles, the secret of which you’re still a few weeks away from understanding and, quite frankly, a little scared of understanding. When your husband asks what you want to do for Thanksgiving you take it as a dig. Ha, ha, you say. Not funny.But then, maybe it’s not so bad, being so high up there in the still-changing leaves and the wild blue sky. The air is crisper than you ever remember it being, and, looking around, the world–the world you thought you knew so well–is a whole nother place: pinker, sweeter, ready to be shared, to be passed around like so much cranberry sauce and stuffing while in the background the TV flickers again and again with the sounds of the parade.

At the Office

These days, I chomp on Laffy Taffy and chug water and stare down at my ankles, waiting for them to swell like un-canned hams; these days, I pop Papaya Enzyme to quell heartburn and say little prayers to avoid heartache and sing loudly in the shower, even when I know it’ll be a long day, even when I’ve forgotten to buy new Body Wash or change the razor blade, sing that old church song about melting and molding; these days, I imagine what labor will feel like and if I’ll want to get a pedicure in the early stages and if I’ll remember how to breathe. I take naps, too–short ones in my cubicle–and then, not quite groggy, I walk back into the office next to mine and (discreetly) grab another Laffy Taffy from the jar, and wow, I think, has it always tasted so darned delicious?

Monday Poem

Love Song

by Carol Muske-Dukes

Love comes hungry to anyone’s hand.
I found the newborn sparrow next to
the tumbled nest on the grass. Bravely

opening its beak. Cats circled, squirrels.
I tried to set the nest right but the wild
birds had fled. The knot of pin feathers

sat in my hand and spoke. Just because
I’ve raised it by touch, doesn’t mean it
follows. All day it pecks at the tin image of

a faceless bird. It refuses to fly,
though I’ve opened the door. What
sends us to each other? He and I

had a blue landscape, a village street,
some poems, bread on a plate. Love
was a camera in a doorway, love was

a script, a tin bird. Love was faceless,
even when we’d memorized each other’s
lines. Love was hungry, love was faceless,

the sparrow sings, famished, in my hand.

From Poetry Magazine, Oct.-Nov. 2002
The Poetry Foundation