Women’s Work

Abbie Kiefer

In the hours before my son,

I wrenched at bedrails,

wailed like a tornado warning,

puked hot crackers into waxy bags.

Each time she circled my cervix,

the midwife lauded the bravery

of the body —

capable, she assured me,

of doing the necessary work.

During his paternity leave,

my husband probably cut the grass twice.

Only once if it was dry.

Walking and re-walking the length of the lawn,

laboring impassively under Adam’s curse.

Or maybe he called the neighbor kid.

Gave him 20 bucks and the gas can,

sent him in as surrogate.

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Abbie Kiefer’s poems are forthcoming or have appeared in december, The Penn Review, The Comstock Review, The Sow's Ear Poetry Review, and other publications. She’s a stay-at-home parent who has also been a newspaper editor and a copywriter. Find her online at abbiekieferpoet.com