ANTEPARTUM: GIRL | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Courtesy of Edwinek Flickr/CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

The ultrasound technician probes
the mother’s bulging belly,
wiggles it, trying
to get the fetus to share
the secret between its legs.

But the mother already knows.
She thinks of her mother
and of her grandmother,
both dog-chained to the ferocious
hunger of their masters.

She remembers the meals
that were never quite good
enough, the late nights spent
shining work boots, ironing
uniforms. The unread books
piling higher than the dirty dishes.

She thinks of herself,
the fabric of her womanhood
strewn about her bony body
like ill-fitting clothing.

Who knows what she sees
in such clothing? A grey sky.
An empty horizon. A doe
hunted by a pack of wolves.

Faith Gómez Clark (she/they) received their MFA from the Warren Wilson College MFA Program for Writers. They teach Composition and World Literature at the University of the Incarnate Word.
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