Joanne Limburg’s second collection, Paraphernalia, has many poems on the subject of fertility, pregnancy and parenthood – most of them are negative in some way or another. There’s a poem about leaving a child at nursery, one about the end of civilization brought about by the relenting mother giving her toddler unhealthy snacks, one about struggling to express milk for a baby in an incubator, and a heartbreaking one about a young girl struggling with school and timekeeping to be able to keep her baby.
There’s also a fantastic take on Hansel and Gretel – or at least the imagined aftermath of that classic fairytale. I may share that one day too.
were always closing doors behind themselves,
slipping out of mind to a place called ‘work’,
where they would spend their ‘long days’.
A turn of a key would bring them back
at six or so, rumpled, inky, half-hidden
by a newsprint fog called ‘being tired’.
Out of place, out of site, for years –
until you come to open your front door,
tired after your long day, and suddenly
see them, outlined, distinct:
who they were, what they did.
View the intro/roundup.