Meg Johnson: First Born

I am about to give birth
in an evening gown,
my hair in ringlets
with sparkly barrettes.
My jewelry clangs
as I breathe deeply.
I command a nurse
to fix my smudgy
make-up. Jesus Christ,
my fourth husband
says. You’re in denial
about what’s about
to happen. He jokes
that I forgot my feather
boa. I tell him that’s
ridiculous. Feather boas
shed and I don’t need
feathers stuck to
different parts of my body.
Women sweat when
they’re in labor,
I hiss. You’re clueless.

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