Loading...
Loading...
Click here if you don’t see subscription options
Taylor ByasJune 17, 2021

In the middle of the night I wake, my arms hanger-
          bent for the child I don’t have. Somebody’s wishing
fruit on this womb, and it tells me so—a half-step
          into irregularity, a missed cycle, the sham of phantom

pains with no blood to show for it. I count my late
          days like petals of a flower frazzled from its stem when
I leave things up to fate; I’m pregnant, I’m not
          pregnant
, I’m pregnant, I’m not pregnant. See, I’m

tired of funerals, the pallbearing of myself, the week-
         long procession into fresh pairs of underwear. I grow
jealous of the flower, how it doesn’t ask for anything,
         how it splays itself in sunlight for the dusting of pollen

and this is enough. My family places month-old babies
         in my lap and my body wills the crib of tissue it has
created to stick a little longer. Fussy children quickly
         quiet to wonder under my gaze. Perhaps beneath

my heartbeat they hear the soft collapse of blood
         and possibility, indelicate in its leaving. They coo,
offer their fingers to my lips almost in sympathy.
         There, there, in their eyes. The child mothers me.

More: Poems

We don’t have comments turned on everywhere anymore. We have recently relaunched the commenting experience at America and are aiming for a more focused commenting experience with better moderation by opening comments on a select number of articles each day.

But we still want your feedback. You can join the conversation about this article with us in social media on Twitter or Facebook, or in one of our Facebook discussion groups for various topics.

Or send us feedback on this article with one of the options below:

We welcome and read all letters to the editor but, due to the volume received, cannot guarantee a response.

In order to be considered for publication, letters should be brief (around 200 words or less) and include the author’s name and geographic location. Letters may be edited for length and clarity.

We open comments only on select articles so that we can provide a focused and well-moderated discussion on interesting topics. If you think this article provides the opportunity for such a discussion, please let us know what you'd like to talk about, or what interesting question you think readers might want to respond to.

If we decide to open comments on this article, we will email you to let you know.

If you have a message for the author, we will do our best to pass it along. Note that if the article is from a wire service such as Catholic News Service, Religion News Service, or the Associated Press, we will not have direct contact information for the author. We cannot guarantee a response from any author.

We welcome any information that will help us improve the factual accuracy of this piece. Thank you.

Please consult our Contact Us page for other options to reach us.

City and state/province, or if outside Canada or the U.S., city and country. 
When you click submit, this article page will reload. You should see a message at the top of the reloaded page confirming that your feedback has been received.

The latest from america

In this episode of “Inside the Vatican,” hosts Colleen Dulle and Gerard O’Connell bring you inside the G7 summit and Pope Francis' meeting with comedians.
Inside the VaticanJune 20, 2024
A Homily for the Twelfth Sunday in Ordinary Time, by Father Terrance Klein
Terrance KleinJune 20, 2024
Pope Francis and a nine member Council of Cardinals heard presentations from women experts on the role of women in the church through the lens of canon law.
Ultimately, it is up to each of us to prayerfully discern the individual contribution we can make. Guided by our faith and Catholic social teaching, we can do our part to support a just peace in Israel-Palestine.