today the road is open, unadorned,
covered with pebbles and dust:
i see the green lushness around me
that cattle and horses feed upon.
the farmer's children run about the yard
in their summertime dance, the rhythms haunt me
treading asphalt with the wind gusts
pounding my haggard face. up all night
and it'll be three more days before i can have another cigarette—
i want so badly to be one of those people outside
the hospital doors, people glaring at me
but then i tell them i'm waiting for a baby
and they say it's okay, but to just quit before
we bring the baby home—but it's not my baby
so i suppose all is okay. she will come in naked
and hungry, angry having to hear
all of those dreadful stories of her father
who left the room before the contractions ever began.
she will look like me, as she looks like my sister
who wails and does not take pain—she could be mine,
she might as well be mine.