Miscarriage (III)

–after Hayek’s Frida

by Robin Silbergleid


Here again:: 
                Three women:
fancy drinks with a pink parasols,
endless pots of Chinese tea.

The air around me smells
of nausea and nameless grief.
(Garlic, I think, ginger).  Now
again, she begins

and the words
mother     baby     hospital
and the words, they
collect on the table
like used dishes, and I am there
thirty years ago, three pounds
(smaller than a Sunday chicken)
eight ounces
and here all at once,
birthday for a child who shouldn’t have been:

my mother gowned
in a sterile room, a doll’s bottle
in her shaking hand, seven weeks
early and none too soon
and here, now, my mother
with her grownup girl, me
drinking pink drinks
because I’m alive
and, oh,
            oh, oh–

2.  Once I collected fortunes
and favorite numbers, thirty
and the year of the rat, used
tissues lint my pockets
and my mother and my aunt
who won’t stop talking
I wanted to tell you I’m sorry
about the baby, sorry you lost           

and the baby who won’t be
sits heavy in my pelvis
the placenta that tried so hard still
pumping blood to his stumped cells
I’ve been dreaming
of this for years–
                            it all bleeds together–
           Frida Kahlo, the actress, me
           writhing (how many miscarriages?)
           a crimson tub, a blood-stained sheet. 
           This thing that hasn’t happened yet–
           (he came out of me in pieces)

an image from a painting, a movie set,
the diary of a woman between.

Robin Silbergleid is the author of the chapbook Pas de Deux: Prose  and Other Poems (Basilisk, 2006). Her poems and essays have appeared in journals including Dislocate, Crab Orchard Review, The Truth About the Fact and The Cream City Review, for which she was nominated for a Pushcart Prize.  A survivor of pregnancy loss and single mother to a spirited five-year-old, Robin is a regular contributor to the online journal Exhale. She is current assistant professor of English at Michigan State University. The Fertile Source published her poem “A Poem For My Son On His Due Date” in September.

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