Miscarriage

Jennifer Givhan

MiscarriagIMG_0098e

In a field where a hot air balloon waits tethered,
children balancing umbrellas and wearing party hats

plant birthday bouquets; where they grow
the swollen bulbs push open the soil

smelling of clay and fingerpaint. Even the sky
celebrates in reverse, hanging like pigtails from a jungle gym.

Not many daffodils or crickets are lucky enough to become fossils,
but here every joule of heat remains inside the balloon.

One might be tempted to drift away now
rather than later.

IMG_0100

Lovesong of the Barren Woman, Poems & An Interview with Jennifer Givhan

Image

Frida Kahlo’s The Broken Column

2. Looking Glass

                   The image in the mirror appears whole
                             though I swear I am a fragment.

Columnar self,
I am my own grotesque other body.

I fell asleep inside my pod and woke to red,
where oceans are dry as salt flats, where red means lost
and lost means dead.

(Read the whole poem here, published at The Fertile Source).

I am so honored to have poems & an interview published by The Fertile Source:

“In the Looking Glass section, with its body-as-empty-house imagery, I thought in terms of Mexican art—surrealist paintings, specifically by female painters Remedios Varo, Frida Kahlo, and Leonora Carrington, play a major role in my writing. They infuse my imagery with color, with discovering beauty and hope in the grotesque, in the strange. The columnar self is also an allusion to Frida Kahlo’s painting “The Broken Column”—and the grotesque is in part referencing the grotesque aspects of this type of art. I also draw on Julia Kristeva’s formulations of the abject in this section. Kristeva writes, “Abjection is above all ambiguity… while releasing a hold, it does not cut off the subject from what threatens it” (Powers of Horror). What threatens the infertile woman (and the woman whose babies die inside her) is her own body. Refiguring the classic construction of the mind/body split was a major concern in this section. In the poem, I was working out my own formulation for such questions as, how does a woman love a body that hurts her? That sabotages her? How does a mother find/express/nurture the babies that exist in her mind and heart but that will not grow inside her body?”

(Please read the whole interview here).

All my best to you,

Jenn

I Sing of PCOS

Today in my freshman English class at UNM, a student wrote that she wishes she knew more about Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, which she has but doesn’t understand. I remember being her–remember reading about PCOS for the first time in SEVENTEEN magazine and thinking, “Hey, most of those symptoms?–I have them!” I remember the fear and uncertainty of such a diagnosis. Of seeing, when my husband and I began trying to have children the first year of our marriage when I was just twenty-one and a grad student, the string of pearls on the sonogram picture of my ovaries, undeniable evidence.

So here, for those women who are dealing with PCOS, whether or not you’re considering trying to become pregnant, are going through infertility, or have just been diagnosed, a link to a site I found so comforting and supportive my first days and weeks of dealing with the diagnosis, and a poem I wrote sometime between dealing with infertility and adopting my sunshine, Jeremiah. And, as most of you know, I then gave birth to my (surprise!) baby girl Adelina a few years after I “gave up trying” to become pregnant…

SOULCYSTERS

Info from their site: “the largest online community of women with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS).

PCOS is the most common endocrine disorder of women, affecting as many as 1 in 10. While there is no cure for PCOS, the symptoms of PCOS can be managed with proper treatment by a qualified PCOS physican.

Here, at SoulCysters.com, we also believe that we help each other through the PCOS journey. Many of our members have become lifelong friends, helped each other lose weight, and kept up with the birth of our children (yes, you CAN get pregnant with PCOS!)”

JENNIFER GIVHAN

from LOVESONG OF THE BARREN WOMAN
…I sing of PCOS—
That pirate disease, launching its scourge on my red woman’s deck,
goading my dreams as they walk the plank
with a splash and a plop.
I thirst. For round belly flesh.
For a living inner-tube to keep me afloat…
(Read the full poem here, published at The Fertile Source).
* * *
All my best to you, Cysters, and all my love.
Jenn