She tells me she wants to have a baby,

my daughter who was my baby
so many years ago.

Everything comes back to me–
the waiting, the wanting, the whisking
off to baby-earth, that angelic place,
passing through life
with its normal sounds, smells, and sights,
into the realm of women’s starlight, bright
as Polaris, a celestial universe of power,
revolving so far away
that only women with growing
babies under their swollen, milk-gorged breasts
could inhabit this land.

Just for a moment, I want to have a baby again.
My aging body with its downhill breasts
and lost uterus aches to soar to that planet.
I want to feel life inside wiggle its
bowed, floppy legs, delicate arms,
those rubbery appendages not yet knit together.
I want to feel it somersault at
the top ledge of my ribs, understand
that surprising quiet of knowing
something inside me will come…
without him.

Just for a moment I want
every muscle in my baby-battered
body to unite for the same cause,
fold itself into my core, let
the sweet rush of sweat ambush my body,
the head opening me, dilating veins, stretching me
until I’m hollow,
our smells and bloods mixing together.
Just for a moment. Only one moment.

About the poet:

Elizabeth Szewczyk’s poem “Birth” won first place in Shapes, a literary journal. Elizabeth has also published in Pulse and in a number of poetry journals, including Freshwater (which she co-edits) and Sanskrit. Elizabeth’s first book of poetry, This Becoming, was published by Big Table Publishing last year. She teaches English at Asnuntuck Community College in Enfield, CT, where she shares her home with husband Tom and dogs Marcus and Sofie.

About the poem:

“Babies” was written two years ago for my oldest daughter. She expressed the desire to start a family, and the poem grew from that one thought.

Poetry editors:

Judy Schaefer and Johanna Shapiro

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