I just got a rejection letter from this fine magazine in which the editors said they “admire my bravery with the subject matter” of this poem. I’m taking that as a compliment, but face it, no one’s going to want to publish this, while my friend Laura wants to read it, so here it is.
Little-known fact: a little bit of bladder leakage is common in women after childbirth. You likely know someone with this problem, but you don’t know because she doesn’t talk about it. There is help for this. So ask and don’t stop until you get it.
Pelvic Floor Therapy
I’m working hard to get control
over my watery issues, the therapist
coaching me in lifting, lifting, until
the device gives me a score. I can
barely feel. Everything I think is right
isn’t. I’m learning to sneeze, to squat,
to let go and let flow, and to hold
when it’s time to hold. Lifting, she says.
I’m learning to stand and sit and stand and sit.
And it’s the rain that gets me at last.
It’s jumping over the wide flooded
sidewalk. I fail to hold. It’s shoveling
last year’s soaking dead leaves from the
drainage channel. Let the water flow!
And the snails hidden deep in the leaves,
drowning in the flood that rose up too fast.
Clinging to any flimsy blade of grass adrift
in the water. There is so much water
everywhere, oh the rain. The sky
has let go. Come little snails
onto my shovel, I will land you safely
on the wet grass. Squatting and lifting
a shovel of water, it’s too much,
I lose control. I am wet.