She Finds Solace

in so many words bound
around her so she walks
the bulk of her body a baker’s
dozen blocks. Swollen, sweaty,
waiting for the baby, she settles
into an oxblood leather chair,
covers herself with the cooler dry air.

She tries to read but finds it hard
to follow post-modern plot,
characters cluttered with conflict.
Instead she skims the dog-eared pages of
award winning books for middle names.
In the Farmers’ Almanac she
follows lunar months.

Some days she climbs the
worn marble stairs to the
upper stacks. She searches
the local historic portrait faces
for patron saints, then stands in a trance
murmuring her version of prayer
as the grandfather clock strikes the hour.

—Jenna Rindo, Pickett