That Story by Janice S Fuller

That Story

for Rachel
by Janice S Fuller

Shall I tell you the one
about the first one?
The waiting and making
it all ready. The pink room
with the red blanket.
The looking young,
the reading all those books about a baby,
the feeling sick for nine months.
Shall I tell you that one?
The one about the day in April
when the very small body
burst into the heat of the day,
her dark hair and skin
unrecognizable to me,
her fair-skinned mother.
Shall I tell you about her father
coming home from work
to carry her and stare?

And how I had a new life for a year
not riding through the city on a bus,
not going to a job.
Shall I tell you
how the motherwork was hard?
The what should I do now
of the day-to-day
and the year-to-year a guess.
A lucky guess
about what the crying meant:
was she sick or just upset,
when to feed her,
when to call for help.
Shall I tell you how
this fog of indecision
never fully disappeared,
lingered through her forty years,
held its breath, then sighed,
and smiled at the outcome.

Shall I tell you that one?


Janice is a poet who lives and writes in the desert of Tucson, Arizona, and on a lake in Wisconsin. Her poems have been published or are forthcoming in Amsterdam Quarterly, Caesura, Bethlehem Writers Roundtable, and Gyroscope Review, among others.


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