Sixteen years ago, your mother swept past
me in the store, her eyes not dropping
to my belly. That Christmas,
we were not invited, but by the next
— granted entry after birthing their grandson —
I gifted my new parents-in-law
a free standing double picture frame:
my daughter on one side
of the divide, her baby brother on the other.
Next visit, one of my children
buried beneath a cousin. Why didn’t
I decry it then, or earlier when, the room
overblown with foreigners now called family,
your father passed his swaddled heir
around and unbound him to admire
the new jewel in his crown. Instead I chose
to push my power with all my power down.
And when the nurse asked if I was alright, love?
I should not have acquiesced —
because the stigma, steeped in silence, has festered ever since.
And when I saw your mother in the supermarket today,
It was I who pretended not to see.
Michele Seminara is a poet and Co-Managing Editor of online creative arts journal Verity La. She has published Engraft (Island Press 2016) and two chapbooks: Scar to Scar (with Robbie Coburn, PressPress 2016) and HUSH (Blank Rune Press, 2017). Her second full-length collection, Suburban Fantasy, is forthcoming from UWA Publishing in 2020.