Poetry / November 2007 (Issue 1)


On Giving Birth to Your Daughter

by Bob Bradshaw

"Everyone," your mother-in-law, scolds you
"knows you shouldn't use scissors
when pregnant. Do you want your baby
to have a cleft lip?"

You apologize for being a thoughtless
daughter-in-law. All scissors
will be removed.

You don't tell her how yesterday you sheared
the hedges and overgrown wisterias.

"And put that hammer down.
Must I follow you around all day?" she asks.
"Do you want your son to suffer migraines?"

Tears sting your eyes.
"How do you know it's a boy?"
you ask her. She shakes her head,
appalled by your ignorance.

You're hopeless, but don't worry.
She can move in after the baby
is born.
She can tutor you on raising
a son. Didn't she do a good job
on your husband? You nod,
careful not to mention
that your nickname
for him is Dirty
Cat.
 
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