Today's poem is by Ron Riekki

EMT Hopes Pregnant Plumber Doesn't Give Birth

She's too skinny to have a baby in her,
looks like a pipe, is a pipe. She's quiet
but her husband won't shut up, bragging that Mario,
the video game character, was a plumber
and that Joe the Plumber was a plumber

and he says the obvious, that giving birth
is plumbing and I tell him to go boil water,
that we'll need it when the baby's delivered,
though this is bullshit—boiling water
is a long medical tradition of getting people

out of the room who are serving no purpose,
like telling someone to get you a vodka tonic
when you just want to be left alone with your cousin
to tell her you h ave a crush on her, which is illegal
in most states but not the one where you grew up,

the vowel state with its screaming eagles
and quarterback addictions—but there's nothing
else to do and the anorexic lupus woman in a letter Y
plumbs out a bloody baby right in front of you
and you try to catch it but the gloves make it

that much more slippery and you just fumble
the football child until you finally
make the catch and the room breathes a sigh
of disbelief at how inept it all is—
the sex, the divorce, the remarriage, now this.

Copyright © 2016 Ron Riekki All rights reserved
from Beloit Poetry Journal
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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