My feet are cold. They remind me of that one week in Iowa. I look at my feet. I don’t like to think about that week in Iowa. It was not a good week in Iowa. I keep looking at my feet. They are covered in cotton—frayed and tubed. I can feel every inch of me forgetting something important. This happens often, whether my feet are cold or if I’m drinking a beer in the shower or if I’m watching you watching yourself in the mirror as you straighten the knot in your tie. I put on a second pair of socks. Our daughter was sleeping and now she’s not. Our daughter is tired of being tired. Yesterday, she was small and today she is still small but less small than yesterday’s small. I imagine her as yeast in an oven. I imagine our daughter continuing to expand, the growth that will come, the growth that has come, the growth that is coming right now. I don’t remember the stork because there never was a stork. Just the breathe. Just the push. Just the stitches. I look at the mobile above the crib. The tiger is catching up to the elephant. I wonder if our daughter will ever learn the word ivory.
Leigh Chadwick is the author of the chapbook Daughters of the State (Bottlecap Press, 2021) and the poetry coloring book This Is How We Learn to Pray (ELJ Editions, 2021), illustrated by Stephanie Kirsten. Her forthcoming books include her debut poetry collection Your Favorite Poet (Malarkey Books, 2022) and the collaborative poetry collection Too Much Tongue (Autofocus, 2022), co-written with Adrienne Marie Barrios. Leigh’s poetry has appeared in Salamander, Passages North, The Indianapolis Review, Pithead Chapel, and Hobart. She can be found online at www.leighchadwick.com and on Twitter at @LeighChadwick5.