POETRY July 7, 2023


The wind is blowing, and the hostas shift back and forth in the yard
like a cow’s dumb head, like a cow’s dumb, heavy teat, and the baby
inside me is dead. For days, we’d called it a fetus but learned when staring
into the dark tunnels of my radioscopic uterus it was still
an embryo, three weeks less mature than the calendar would suggest.
There is something melancholy in the air, like the sound of my living son
with his head tilted to the sky, calling out with the wind chimes,
Mooooommeeeeeeee. He sounds so far away. Earlier, having adapted so quickly
to what unfolded in a week—a crime scene on the bathroom floor, in the bowl
of the toilet, on the sheets where the towel folded up underneath me—
he runs in while I’m peeing, at last, without incident. The worst is over.
Yet, he has grown accustomed to it, and he is so young and accepts
so much that he shouldn’t have to. As the wheels of his toddler legs grind
to a halt, he declares, I wanna see some blood! And he doesn’t understand
the blood is finally gone, nor does he understand what left along with it.
Born on the shortest day of the year, he gives so much with his little
life. He is everything: the dark day we give thanks for at the end
of so many obscure months, the promise of the sun returning.

Calgary Martin is originally from Washington State but spent her formative years in Brooklyn, NY. Her poems appear in Hayden’s Ferry Review, Cimarron Review, The Gettysburg Review, Tupelo Quarterly, and other journals. She lives in Illinois with her husband and their two kids.