Blackbirdan online journal of literature and the artsFall 2018  Vol. 17 No. 2
an online journal of literature and the arts
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Poem in Which My Husband Deploys and Our Baby
and I Move Back In with My Parents

I wake
in my childhood bedroom. Outside,
the backyard’s glut

of dark pines shivers. A county over
the Cahaba lilies are setting
the river on fire, and I

am thirty and home with an infant,
alone. At the hospital,
Tabitha, the receptionist, says Girl,  

how are you? And I
am seeing the breast specialist
about an abscess, a hole

the size of a baby’s fist
and festering. There’s Daisy
the ultrasound tech who touches me

with such tenderness
I almost forget how popular she was,
white teeth, tan legs.

I’ve been away ten years, more
or less, and was happy to be gone,
but now I’m back

in front of the mammogram machine,
and this life, this life
is folding me in half.  

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