I pissed my pants on the front porch.
You were in a plastic baby bucket
with blue plaid padding. Quiet, asleep.
I hoisted you up on top of a table,
the baby bucket rocking to a slow stop.
I sat in my wet pants frozen with fear.
What was I going to do with you?
Some relative walked in and shuffled
me off to clean myself.
I felt like an incontinent patient
at a convalescent home – not a new mother.
Cleaned and exhausted, I passed out in my bed
only to be awoken by crying.
Whose crying it was, I could not remember,
but alas my breast did not care.
My milk thrust down to the nipple
in waves of painful relief.
(This must be what an erection is like,
no wonder the release is divine.)
You wouldn’t latch, a tied tongue the culprit;
I really thought a rebel’s stand.
I attached to a milking machine,
a cow in the dairy to feed my herd of one.
I sat alone in the dark on my bed
with a plastic cup stuck to my breast.
The machine pulling, pushing, squeezing out milk
to fill the bottle, to fill the void.
Each minute that passed, the screaming escalated,
relatives rushed in a frenzy – hurry, hurry.
But just like giving birth to you,
the milk would only come in its own time.
How, within less than a week,
did my body no longer become my own?
My life became the puppet of another,
a matronly marionette.
The bottle finally full, my body mostly covered,
you were thrust into my arms.
Your face was red and blotchy,
the fruit of your cacophonous efforts.
I shoved the bottle into your mouth,
your eyes popped open.
You stared at me.
I stared at you.
Sonya Groves is a teacher of English and History in San Antonio. She has published a short story in the Abydos Education Journal, has poetry publications in La Noria, The Voices Project, and Aries. She has been a conference presenter at the East Carolina University Multi-Cultural Literature Review Conference. Currently she is pursuing her Master’s degree in English at Our Lady of the Lake University.