by Jennedy Johnson

They said I had an incompetent pelvis. 

There’s irony in the phrase being applied to a woman who so clearly has “child-bearing hips.” Whose thick body lifted heavy dressers, carried sheets of drywall, built raised gardens out of mounds of stone. Whose strong arms carried the weight of broken promises and shattered expectations.

Incompetent? Never. Aggressive, bossy, opinionated, mouthy, often passionate and messy and conflicted. But never, ever incompetent. 

I carried the future, kept it safe and secure in my ample belly. Became swollen with love and life despite the sickness and the breakdown of my corporal form. I stretched to my limits, my breasts and stomach and thighs and heart, all now bearing the faint silver calligraphy - mementos of my creation - while my skin hangs like a Dali clock, like poorly folded origami. 

But as I lay my hands on my squishy middle and shamefully flick my eyes over my sagging skin and ravaged body, I wonder where the love I carried has gone. Was it totally spent in the creation and incubation? Did it spill out of the openings they slashed in my flesh? Has the sacral chamber emptied leaving its owner bereft? 

Carved from stone, shaped from clay, I begin again. Taking baby steps toward replacing my incompetent, yet somehow capable, pelvis with a belly full of acceptance.

WritingSamantha Schutz