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.