Tuesday, November 15, 2005


Amazing what our grandmothers and mothers did when they were pregnant, before the medical field new better. My mom tells me how I was laid in the backseat of the faux-wood paneled station wagon in a bassinet contraption. Here is a poem from Tar River Poetry that makes me feel better about the wine I drank in the first couple of weeks before I new I was pregnant, and the Krispy Kream doughnuts I couldn’t help but eat after I did know.


The only photograph that I have of myself

before I was born is the one that I

keep in my underwear drawer.

In it, my mother sits at the kitchen table.

My eight months stretches the gingham of her

sundress underneath her breasts,

suggesting my presence at the scene.

She grins, her body having accepted this heavy

company four times before.

A column of ash balances on top of her

filtered cigarette like a shadow of her

inhalations. The boy who would become

my brother stands behind her and

rests his hand on her freckled shoulder.

Her feet are propped up on the table,

lightly, so as not to shift the tumbler,

half-filled with amber and ice,

which is within her measured reach.

Twenty years and a month after this photo

was taken, my mother pushed the softened

picture into my palm and shrugged.

The explanation she offered now hangs

over her face in this one picture like a joke,

protected by a cartoon bubble.


Blogger reniebob said...

Well, I could write for days about my mistakes. It's how you learn, right? :)

1:49 PM, November 15, 2005  
Blogger J.B. Rowell said...

True - and what kind of people would our children become if their mothers never made mistakes? Creepy.

8:44 PM, November 15, 2005  

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