Katie Manning


You didn't even know your mom was pregnant. She sewed new dresses to hide it. When the time came, all of you kids were sent off to the neighbor's house, and your oldest sister had to tell you why. Your mom gave birth, but the boy was blue. It looked so perfect otherwise, you'd say, the still body an "it" in your child's memory, more like a doll than a real baby. If he were born today, he'd live, you'd sometimes add, making him real again. And then we'd talk about your mother and make ourselves heavy with her loss. The last time you told me this story, I realized I'd never asked the baby's name.

Katie Manning is the founding Editor-in-Chief of Whale Road Review, and she teaches writing and literature at Point Loma Nazarene University in San Diego. She is the 2016 winner of the Main Street Rag Poetry Book Award and the author of four chapbooks, including The Gospel of the Bleeding Woman. Find her online at katiemanningpoet.com.

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