Hour Twenty One


I tried everything to hurry my
second daughter up. My body porcupined

by needles every few days,
I did 200 squats a day in an apartment

with no air conditioning. When
we walked, I would think with

every step – come now. A week
passed the due date, I woke to a

stillness inside me at 1 in the
morning. I drank ice cold water

and sat on the sofa, watching the
timer on my phone count down

to when I was supposed to call the hospital.
I woke my husband first and we

spent the next few minutes marching
instead, till my daughter kicked

me, awake again in the world of me.
Gratitude filling every

part of my body. By the time I settled
in the bed beside my husband,

I could tell our daughter was on her way,
more soft-footed than she is now.

8 thoughts on “Hour Twenty One

  1. Wow – brilliant – and how scary that must have been waiting for the sign your daughter was okay – this poem showed how hard it is in the last days. Great use of language: ‘My body porcupined//by needles every few days’ – love it! Beautiful last line…

  2. I started reading at Hour 24 and am stopping here for now. I love the immediacy and honesty of all of them. This one’s last line made me swoon a little, so I’d better stop for the night. What a privilege to get to read them here!

  3. Fabulous! This poem sizzles and devestates with the anxieties of impending, overdue birth, and the fears when your daughter did not seem to be moving inside you.

    The couplet form perfectly suits the actions and mood of this poem — from sipping cold water to marching til your daughter kicks.

  4. Awake again in the world of me…Such a striking phrase. But also the rhyme later with body connects the two stanzas so beautifully. Carrys the momentum already i the poem, the impending birth and how the poem mirrors this! And the last line: more soft footed than she is now, so unexpected and births us firmly into the future this child will be outside the inner womb world of you! Thanks Caitlin

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