Poetry

Published on June 28th, 2019 | by Jennie Meyer

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The Final Trimester

By Jennie Meyer

out of seventy-six or so, if you
consider that the ‘fourth trimester’
suggests they are really quarters, after all.

These, the last three months we have with you before you leave
for university— although I envision many weekends home,
holidays, and summers, expanding out for years,

until your principle lobs the statistic, ‘90 percent,’ our way,
which is the percent of time in your life you will have spent
under our roof before we drive you to your dorm, up north.

Last spring, at trimester seventy-one, you yelled
that my parenting made you want to leave, and I yelled,
“With your behavior, and no support, I do too!”

And we stared, across the empty room
into each other’s eyes, in the silence,
stunned.

I don’t know if it was right, developmentally,
to speak the parental truth at trimester seventy-one,
but your colic began to ebb, as did mine,

at least some, and finally I can count past
the fingers and thumbs of both hands
the times you’ve said “I love you,”

even on the phone, with your friends in the background.
I won’t claim it was ‘good parenting,’ but we have sloughed
the spent placenta, and I laugh and cry as you are born.

(Photo by Jane Carmona on Unsplash)

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Jennie Meyer



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