To My Friend in the Fourth Trimester Listen to the humming inside you, To echoes of ancient mothers praying Comfort, reassuring you: Your arms will never be too weary To cling to him as you sway, susurrations Like wind on the pond behind you. Let him teach you to bend again. Find the rhythm of your throbbing hips, Trace the marbled stretch marks, Marvel at your heavy breasts, Your hands as they mix formula. Tell the stories you will soon forget. Of the carrier cutting your shoulder, Of his sturdy, demanding body Sighing and dreaming against your chest. Tell him your mother’s promises, Steady his small hand as he reaches. One day he will steady yours, too.
The daughter of Indian immigrants, Sunita Theiss was born and raised in Georgia. She is an alumna of VONA/Voices, and her work has appeared or is forthcoming in MER VOX, Jaggery, Whale Road Review, pidgeonholes, and others. She still lives in Georgia with her family, not far from her childhood home.
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