This poetry chapbook by native Oregonian, KA Shott, was born from her personal and family struggles and triumphs surrounding her husband's diagnosis with early onset Parkinson's Disease and Multiple Sclerosis. The collected poems offer the reader a chance to share a refreshingly strong reliance on Faith.
I NEVER EXPECTED. . .
when I was expecting, my lover would be
wearing chicken soup noodles, though
the nurse had suspected, warned in fact,
when I insisted on something to eat. The bowl
was still steaming when the quickening came.
Id been shopping all that day,
Nesting, my mother said,
intent on getting everything right,
succeeding only in swelling my feet
and aching my back so that when my water broke
over my pink-painted toes, onto the bathroom floor, I cried.
He knew I didnt know what to do.
He rested his hand on my stomach,
Easy, he said. In the car,
every bump felt like railroad tracks;
and jarred the towel Id shoved between my legs
that fell out in the hospital hallway
as I held to his arm and leaked to maternity.
A tall woman with salted-pepper hair led us
to an iron-framed queen bed, The birthing suite, she said,
let me know when youd like to use the hot tub.
In a corner rested a rocking chair;
teetering and lonely in the afternoon light that seeped
between its legs like blood between mine.
I thought of G.G. rocking me on her lap
hers looked the same as the one Max sat in
when she told stories of nurses and newborns.
Max had drifted to sleep. My screams opened
his eyes to see my knuckles turned white
and my pelvis spreading just the size
of our not-yet-born infants head.
I begged him to wrap his hands round
my dripping breasts and he murmured,
low and tender, Easy, until he severed the cord
and kissed his first-borns birth-stained head.