You didn’t even know your mom was pregnant. She sewed new dresses to
hide it. When the time came, all of you kids were sent off to the neighbor’s
house, and your oldest sister had to tell you why. Your mom gave birth, but
the boy was blue. It looked so perfect otherwise, you’d say, the still body an “it”
in your child’s memory, more like a doll than a real baby. If he were born today,
he’d live, you’d sometimes add, making him real again. Then we’d talk about
your mother and make ourselves heavy with her loss. The last time you told
me this story, I realized I’d never asked the baby’s name.
|Katie Manning is the founding editor-in-chief of Whale Road Review and a professor of writing at Point Loma Nazarene University in San Diego. She is the author of Tasty Other, which won the 2016 Main Street Rag Poetry Book Award, and her fifth chapbook, 28,065 Nights, is newly available from River Glass Books. Her poems have appeared in American Journal of Nursing, december, The Lascaux Review, New Letters, Rogue Agent, Stirring, THRUSH, Verse Daily, and many other venues. Twitter Handle: @iamkatmann|
Erin Elizabeth Smith is the Creative Director at the Sundress Academy for the Arts and the Managing Editor of Sundress Publications. She is the author of three full-length collections of poetry, and her work has appeared in Guernica, Ecotone, Crab Orchard, and Mid-American. Smith is a Distinguished Lecturer in the English Department at the University of Tennessee.