Everyone is Pregnant

Katie McGarry


Everyone is pregnant
so I am too. At the hair salon, arched
backwards before the sink, listening
to three women talk about episiotomies
and water births, I jump in:

Oh, I’m getting the drugs for sure.
My hairdresser pauses, her fingers cradling
my skull. She’d assumed I was just fat,
like I have been for the three years
I’ve been coming here.

At work, Karl announces his wife is expecting.
I nod knowingly, pat my stomach.
Everyone gasps, starts congratulating me
(except for Amy, who glances at my naked finger
and raises an eyebrow). How far along? they ask.
Six months, I decide.

I sign up for hypno-birthing classes.
I’m the best one.
I give myself a perineal massage,
I think. I knit a layette. I stop drinking
in public.

For my seventh birthday, I got
the stuffed animal we all wanted:
Puppy Surprise. Her abdomen
unvelcroed to reveal a full litter.
We spent an afternoon ripping her open,
making her give birth over and over again.

It was captivating and bloodless.

My labour will be the same.

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You can find her on Twitter @McGarryWrites.

PoetryJeremy Bibaud