Three Poems

Jennifer Jackson Berry

The Hunt

 

Plastic Easter eggs strewn across a lawn barren

but blades of grass.

 

(Kids too young to have them really hidden.)

 

The one pregnant with her rainbow baby smokes one

after the other—

her husband dances and rubs his belly like he’s due.

 

I walk across the lawn dropping

my own eggs

            silently inside:

 

no one opens them                  they are sealed

no one eats them                     (the green ring has spread)

 

She goes inside to pee after picking up the snuffed out stub.

My husband sits on a retaining wall               holding back.

 

My water has never broken.

Nothing has arced from my body’s mist.

 

No one finds my eggs—                     they

 

disintegrate

on the way back up to my arms.

 

 

The Xmas Joke

 

This will happen at my brother’s house         

& on the way home

I’ll have to pull over at the first stop sign

& switch seats so my husband can drive

because I’m shaking.

 

I’ll think it’s just a stocking for the dog

but then I’ll see a silver bone charm

on a different stocking & really count

how many are hanging there.

 

two parents     three kids        one dog           &        

 

Someone else will notice too & ask.

 

I’ll know my face is close

to betraying me.          I’ll hear my sister-in-law

tell my brother to wake up they’re asking

about the stocking.      He’ll roust from his post-turkey nap:

we wondered how long it would take

for you to notice.

 

I won’t expect this.

 

This will be December.

This won’t be the April 1st minefield

of fake sonogram pictures.

 

Sometimes I wake in the middle of the night

With the same headache I’ll have in the car.

 

This is them finding a soft red boot

from                probably her                single days

 

bottom of a box of decorations

from an apartment before marriage     before kids.

 

This is them trying to recreate

the surprise the three times they announced

then laugh at dropped jaws.   

 

I won’t expect this.

 

But they aren’t expecting                   just a joke they’ll say.

 

Each year I think about decorating again

like i used to                but I won’t.

 

The only way I’ll touch a child’s stocking                  this year

or any year                  is when I sneak into their house

& steal the extra one they found.      

 

I’ll put it on my foot

 

& kick               & kick             & kick

 

 

To the Dude Who Said My Poems Are Just a Lot of Talk about a Dead Baby

 

To the same dude who said he is ambivalent about disrespect:

 

 

Re: you getting to my reading five minutes late &

 

 

                                          being surprised I had started already:

 

 

I’ve heard you read at open mic

 

 About the Writer
Split Lip Magazine

Jennifer Jackson Berry’s first full length collection The Feeder is available from YesYes Books. Her newest poems have appeared or are forthcoming in journals such as Duende, Poet Lore, SiDEKiCK Literary Journal, Stirring, and The Indianola Review. She is the Editor of Pittsburgh Poetry Review and an Assistant Editor for WomenArts Quarterly Journal. She lives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and is a proud member of the Madwomen in the Attic writing workshops.