by Katie Ellen Bowers
My hips are so heavy. At night they ache;
they groan, as if to signal that rain is coming
This is for the burden of those who
have laid on and have pressed against,
for those who loved you or used you
or missed you before you left or
those who didn’t understand their own
This is for the first pregnancy,
the joints and ligaments loosening
a few weeks worth of centimeters,
and for the second pregnancy,
where the same joints, the same ligaments,
were allowed to unravel like a spool
This is for all the miles you choose
to run alone, all the bricks you carry,
all the books you rest against your hip,
all the ways you bend and stretch and
pose and stand alone.
Do you remember how your husband would
wake up at two in the morning (walk to the
other side of the bed) gently take your hands
and pull you out of bed (the weight of his child
pressing against your bladder) because your hips
hurt too much for you to get up on your own?
Do you remember how good it felt to
crouch low, to let the grief be carried
on more than just yourself?
Katie Ellen Bowers is a poet and educator living in the rural Southeast with her husband and daughter. Her work has been recently published in Qu Literary Magazine, Haunted Waters Press, and The Dewdrop, for which she was nominated for The Pushcart Prize.
This poem previously appeared in Flying South.