No one notices the swelling of her belly

until summer when she sheds her clothes 

and dives into the pool 

in last year’s red bikini.

August, the grapes heavy on the vines,

the scent of wine in the air since dawn. 

Near the barn, his two uncles 

sharpen their tools, 

choose pigs for slaughter.

His mother says she’s glad, 

that any child of his is welcome.  

No one mentions his ex-wife, 

her long silences over the phone, 

the way the laundry 

ends up in the mud at night, 

the fact that births go wrong.

His uncles watch her walk the field 

of sunflowers alone.  They watch 

stalks sway and close behind her,

her dress a speck of gold.  

32 Poems