The Body Is Not a Coffin

Over a decade ago, I started scratching down the clippings of diseased rose stems and transplanted Black Eyed Susans alongside the ache and emptiness of miscarriage. The Word doc morphed from computer to computer as we moved from Ellet to South Akron to Ashland to Copley. The story kept changing and growing, from one miscarriage to two, from two miscarriages to two healthy babies. By the time we were done with the baby making conversation, my annual visit reports were of three to-term pregnancies and four miscarriages, but more than that, there had been eight years of pregnancy. Eight years of spiritual crises and transformation, of career change and role reversals, of learning to parent and to accept the mysteries.

Eight years. So much changed through that season, so much grew beyond my waistline and my three children. The gestation period for this essay was long, with fits and starts and rewrites along the way, but it is here, now, in print in this lovely journal, Under the Gum Tree.

Visit Under the Gum Tree to read an excerpt from “The Body Is Not a Coffin,” and if you are at AWP in LA this week, swing by their booth to pick up a copy.

Published by Sarah M. Wells

Sarah M. Wells is the author of The Family Bible Devotional: Stories from the Gospels to Help Kids and Parents Love God and Love Others (2022), American Honey: A Field Guide to Resisting Temptation (2021), Between the Heron and the Moss (2020), The Family Bible Devotional: Stories from the Bible to Help Kids and Parents Engage and Love Scripture (2018), Pruning Burning Bushes (2012), and a chapbook of poems, Acquiesce, winner of the 2008 Starting Gate Award through Finishing Line Press (2009). Sarah's work has been honored with four Pushcart Prize nominations, and her essays have appeared in the notable essays list in the Best American Essays 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2017, and 2018. Sarah is the recipient of a 2018 Individual Excellence Award from the Ohio Arts Council. She resides in Ashland, Ohio with her husband and three children.

One thought on “The Body Is Not a Coffin

  1. I have also had 3 miscarriages and stumbled onto your page. Tried to find a copy to buy your “my body is not a coffin” writing but couldn’t find it except on kindle and I don’t have that. Please advise id love to read it. Thank you.


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