collection of poems, Another Rude Awakening, was published by Cherry Grove Collections in 2008.
Her poems have also appeared in many journals and magazines, including The Beloit Poetry Journal, Prairie Schooner, and Yankee, as well as in a number of anthologies, including When I Am an Old Woman I Shall Wear Purple (Papier Maché Press).
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Where Do Babies Come From?
They are not born, they just arrive.
The doorbell rings and there’s another
in a basket on the step—some days
this happens every hour. Or I leave
the room for a moment and return to find
one occupying my chair. They tumble
from the cupboards, lurk behind
the doors, pocket themselves between
my flowered sheets. It’s an epidemic,
a pestilence. I buy a flit-gun and
spray all the cracks and crevices where
they could be breeding or where
their toys and diapers might accumulate.
It does no good. The doorbell keeps
ringing and my nights are haunted
by the sounds of cries and gurgles
I can’t locate. Are they in the
ceiling fixtures? The attic? The walls?
I buy Have-a-Heart traps,
ingeniously designed to capture
without inflicting harm. In less than
a day they’re full, and I drive to
an orphanage where the director
makes notes of dates and contents,
then politely shakes her head.
Driving fast, I head down a twisting
country road, searching for the right
deserted place. I have no choice,
I say out loud as the car bumps
over mottled leaves and tree roots,
a snarl of branches shutting out
the light. The rear view mirror
reflects tiny hands and faces while
squealing voices echo Mama!
with each exciting bounce.
Finally, the car shudders to a halt.
The voices call again, but now
it’s a chorus of complaint.
Covering my ears, I wait for
total darkness, hungry cries of Mama!
assaulting me from every corner of
the vehicle and underneath the hood.
Why me? I plead as the engine
starts itself and turns the car
towards home, where I know
another basket waits.