We had a screening fundraiser last night. We had some great films, and it was exciting to see Fool’s Love: A 40 week journal, the short film I’d written some poetry for last year, up on the big screen. It’s inspired by a very personal story the filmmaker shared with me. Some of those in attendance asked to see the poem in print, so here it is.
A 40 Week Journal
4 weeks, a poppy seed. Tip of a paintbrush bristle.
You were the one we blamed everything on: spilled ink, clay left to harden.
Your hands covered in fish scales, this was no deterrent.
Bonnie and Clyde. Randy and Evi, in a Prius, on the run
from the Hollywood mind control. We blamed anyone we could.
6 weeks, a lentil. Plasticine eye of a dragon.
The man in the sculpture is having a scotch while the dragon
creeps up behind him. Open, you said to me. Free. I follow you to the dike,
to the Pit, to Gert’s. I look for you by the dredge pond.
I wonder if I am the dragon.
8 weeks, a kidney bean. The size and colour of an endometrial cyst.
My traitorous sex, my insides, out. A scarred up womb.
They said I’d never see the plus sign,
the blue line. Tonight we saw them both. Faded, but there.
12 weeks, a lemon. A product with flaws too great or severe to serve its purpose.
Ok, my breasts are still sensitive
and I got a charley horse on Saturday morning,
those are my only indications that yes, there might be something inside.
18 weeks, a banana, with a heartbeat, on a monitor.
7 o’clock, Mary and Solvey came with me,
even though they’re not morning people. I can’t find you. Not at the dredge pond.
Not at your sister’s. I can’t find my brushes—you took them.
I want to paint.
You don’t make it.
22 weeks, a mango. Sickly sweet.
You don’t make it.
I’m in emergency. Just a scare. You don’t make it.
Cook me breakfast and disappear.
Tell me I don’t have to worry. Words under water. Submarine.
36 weeks, a cantaloupe.
A small, manageable depth charge.
40 weeks, a pumpkin. Hello, Pumpkin.
We had a good good-bye, no crying, and you were gone.