by Lynne Reeder

CW: pregnancy loss

she moved the ultrasound wand over my uterus / searching for something i knew was no longer there / the steady beat of a new heart forming / sending its tidal waves through sonar / the ocean i’d witnessed two weeks ago / now still as a winter lake / frozen on the screen / pretending perhaps the equipment was faulty / while knowing my body was instead / and the technician small talked her way through / as if i couldn’t see what she wasn’t allowed to say // the slow leaking out of life / the taking of what wasn’t yet fully there // the quiet settled over me / as she wiped the gel from my stomach / told me to wait for a doctor to discuss the results with me / and gave me directions to the bathroom / where i sat and wondered / how i was possibly going to make it home / without staining my car seats / where i stuffed my underwear / full of thin toilet paper / and emerged to a two hour wait / for a phone call from a doctor i’d never met / charged with placing the word over my womb /miss, you’re having a / miscarriage / miscarriage / mis / carriage / miss, / carriage / put your shoulders back, girl / carry yourself better / hadn’t i been failing at holding myself upright / for years / why should a child from me / be any different / mis / miss / can you miss / what you never had / can you drive to a doctor pregnant / and leave not / and be the same woman / can you carry a loss / like a wrinkle in your skin / small / but altering how you look / to everyone including yourself / at everything after / can you have another baby / and still spend a week / every 28-34 days / bent over the toilet / remembering the night / of your oldest daughter’s Christmas pageant / when the churning began / when you couldn’t stand up straight /mis // carriage / posture, dear girl / when the toilet became a graveyard / and you sat / alone / wondering how / you’d ever carry anything again / without this / pulling it apart

Lynne Reeder lives through words. She writes them, reads them, teaches them, and believes in them always. A four-time Perry County Poet Laureate, her work has been featured in multiple online journals and print anthologies. When not writing, Lynne finds meaning in mentoring student writers and playing a small part in fueling their futures. Learn more about Lynne and her works at www.lynnereeder.com.


Photography by: Tom Roberts