It Goes On

This time I’m fourteen and he says, “It’s your turn.”
When the next contraction hits, her body groans,
a sound someplace between pain and pleasure
passes between my own ribs.

                         One foot appears, not two;
naked to the shoulder, between contractions
I reach in, blind hand finds what I’ve already seen,
                         only one front foot.

I reach deeper, fingers swimming upstream,
                         as if entering a dream—
the cow seems miraculously not bothered
by my presence inside her—
then it comes, next wave of her push,
she grips my arm with her birth canal,
                         nothing more sure of itself.
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