Buoyancy. A poem by Kate Brennan

As I soak in the tub
With my second bout of mastitis
I wonder about bringing a child into such an inhospitable world
Perhaps I should have gestated a full 2 years
Like the elephants
(Who are mysteriously dying off in Botswana)

Gazing past my pruning toes to the seashells in a jar
(Did Dr. Farrell gather those? We will all survive this to see him another summer?)

I think maybe I was a sea creature in a past life and maybe my rising sign has more to do with my personality than my actual sign

My hands conjure underwater waves against my thighs
(definitely a sea creature)

Isolated more than half of his life, we are this child’s whole world
(Are we enough to be his whole world?)

Homeless, jobless, future-less, it’s impossible not to sink

I am only buoyant in my mother’s bathtub while I massage the plugged duct
(I hope I don’t have to go back to the ER)

I blow bubbles and pretend I’m a motorboat with somewhere to go
Not an empty vessel
Floating listlessly in a forgotten harbor


Kate Brennan is an Associate Professor, Artistic Director of Ignition Arts and co-creator of The Infinity Trilogy YA Musicals. http://Www.katebrennan.org

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