WOMEN

We arrive with our eggs

carried like loose change
until time and sperm meet
and a baby grows where
nothing has lived before.

We cast the best eggs first
save lesser ones for later
like unmarried daughters
spinster cells - homely but
good at housekeeping.

The price for children is pain
mental and physical.
Childbirth is the well-kept secret
of forcing a bowling ball
through a buttonhole.

Unmentioned too are cramps which
yield only to tub, hot pad
or drugs - the feeling of one’s
innards being yanked out
like a dropped transmission.

And Lizzie Borden days when PMS
changes our minds to war zones.
Anger and profanity replace finer
feeling and a flat tire is reason
to call the suicide hotline.

Did I choose the wrong gender?
I wonder until 20 hours in
when they hand me you, made in me.
A miracle to erase
the memory of pain.