pool pregnant
Swimming Pregnant at the YWCA
by Marjorie Maddox

Double buoys, we dip
together, bob, pull in
mouthfuls, push out

rhythms of oxygen. Or,
fat frog and tadpole
in this clear cool of wet,

we breaststroke beginnings.
Beside us, women
in their seventies, stretch

flabby limbs, step up
and down on plastic.
Their waves wash us

cleaner, circle our double
bellies with what
they’ve already breathed.

On the other side,
two women younger than I,
compare daughters’

applications to college:
what they know, will learn.
I go under, watch

these women’s legs move
and move. I cross
their current; surface, repeat.

PHOTO: Internet image of pregnant woman in pool.

SOURCE:  Previously published in Local News from Someplace Else (Wipf & Stock) and in Fit Past 40 Anthology, and Women’s Review of Books.

AL margie lookout

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: I was 38 when I had my first child, was of “advanced maternal age,” according to the doctors, and yet there we all were—a pool full of women of different ages and experiences—together in this world of water, somehow sharing our commonality.

PHOTO: The author with her daughter (now 19) in Arizona, Summer 2016.

Author Photo of Marjorie Maddox by Dawn Snyder 2015 copyABOUT THE AUTHOR: Sage Graduate Fellow of Cornell University (MFA) and Professor of English and Creative Writing at Lock Haven University of Pennsylvania, Marjorie Maddox has published eleven collections of poetry—including True, False, None of the Above (Poiema Poetry Series); Local News from Someplace Else (Wipf and Stock); Wives’ Tales (forthcoming 2016 Seven Kitchens Press), Transplant, Transport, Transubstantiation (Yellowglen Prize); and Perpendicular As I (Sandstone Book Award)—the short story collection What She Was Saying (2017 Fomite Press), and over 450 stories, essays, and poems in journals and anthologies. Co-editor of Common Wealth: Contemporary Poets on Pennsylvania (Penn State Press), she also has published two children’s books with several forthcoming. For more information, please see marjoriemaddox.com.