birthday dinner of crab

in the beginning i was five

months pregnant.  she was a large

and healthy surprise

within me.  i thought

i should probably

go to see the doctor.

but didn’t.


my belly swelled like a wave.

at first.  then she shifted.

sensing our ambivalence

and our intentions missing,

the fetus began to shrink.


shortly, people began to notice.

even a co-worker asked

what could possibly be wrong.


still it shrank

unfed, smaller…

finally disappearing.




when i told you,

you smiled and poured

some red wine.


Published: Off the Coast