Column 16

Pregnancy is a profound state of being, but seeing children grow up perhaps puts even that experience in the shade. This poem by Ali Thurm (a winner in last year’s Coffeehouse Poetry competition) zings with energy from the title to the elegiac last line. 


begins in the bath with a ripple across the dome
of your belly: darkness visible. A curled seed
germinates, and you feel her pushing and kneading
against you like a cat, until she’s flexing her legs
on the give of your thighs, bracing herself
against you, as you hold her hands to balance.
In the rush of the quotidian (you’re not to blame)
it’s easy to forget you’re only the launch pad,
the spring board. So, every day remind yourself
she wants to walk away, with a quick backwards
wave, through the departure gate, her rucksack
weighing almost nothing on her slender shoulders.

Used with kind permission of Ali Thurm.