Next Thing You Know

Birthing a baby has nothing to do

with the Titanic except you’re as large

as a luxury liner, there’s no air because

the baby’s feet are up to your neck.

Your knees feel weak, that sinking feeling,

water breaks down your legs,

things begin to drop and slide,

like a boat listing to one side.

Tables and glasses come crashing to the floor,

linens all wet and messy with red wine.

And dying has nothing to do with flying,

except, well, there’s that lift-off, the moment

when the wing flaps flatten and the wheels pull in. The plane is racing down the runway, you’re braced, head pressed into the seat, you’re holding your breath, maybe praying, who the hell knows. There’s that funny feeling in your stomach. You close your eyes. Next thing you know, you’re up in the air.

~ Betsy Jackson/2004

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