My favorite part of baking is before:
the batter dripping from the paddle,
or the yeasty dome rising in the metal bowl.
Last week my aunt called to tell me
it's alright that I'm not pregnant.
I started to think maybe it's not.
Once, as warning, grandmother told us about
her first husband-married because they had to.
Miscarried after a fall. Said she'd prayed for it.
One of those summers when heat
came early, a goat returned from the woods
with only one newborn. From the bulge
her belly had been, I knew that she
should've had two. I found the missing
by smell, just far enough in to stay shaded.
When I came back from shoveling,
it was already just a mound of fur,
wriggling as maggots danced inside.
My youngest sister asks me for recipes,
help with grammar. And when her doctor
said the pregnancy wasn’t viable
she called me first, disquieted.
I could not say to her This
is how to lose your baby.
Both my sisters now busy themselves
with the making of people. I've seen
the work of it, the pulling back
from the edge. One kept it covered
for months – hidden like shirt stays
under starched white trousers.
My nephews will be born
in Indian summer. One
will have dark skin, dark hair.
The other will be fair and
fearless. Both will grow tall.
They will not look like me.