Ode to Lucy’s Pelvis

Adrienne Gruber is the author of the full-length poetry collection This is the Nightmare...


O wondrous one, your bipedal swag, terrestrial locomotion,
partial appendages revealed, brain a soft sponge, size
of an acorn, still waiting for that growth spurt
3.2 million years later. Your single pelvic bone, pubic arc
90 degrees too small for a forth trimester callow to birth.
Your tailbone can’t sway like a trap door for the dog to dash out.
Even the smallest skull would fuse in your immature cavity, that girdle
yanked tight with a ribbon. I gulp air like an asphyxiated pervert,
lemon slice between my teeth. Daylight spills over my lover’s greased brow,
pools through the blinds like rapids flooding hardwood.
The midwife squats in the corner, a clipboard clutched
to her chest. Cheeks flushed and pressed to the wall. The water tints
from hours of use, blood, feces, vomit, urine. Liquor amnii.
There’s enough of my fluid to douche a small village. Between surges
the water’s paralysis breeds silence. I curl fetal, calves throb and
cramps twist my limbs. I am jilted, triggered. I pray for apoplexy.
I am seizured. En-cauled. The membranes won’t loop over my ears
or peel from my face. They think I am lucky, I won’t drown
in this putrid water, but I have been bathing for days. Pruned.
Tongue ripens to paste. The head must jimmy to the right,
unlock itself. Instead, it wedges against my sacrum. My trunk
wallows in the swamp. I’d scrape my knuckles in the dirt and
cripple my spine to have this nursling slip out of me. It can grow
dumb if need be. Lucy, don’t leave me like this.


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