Nine Months and Five Days Allison Jenks Poetry

local_library Nine Months and Five Days

by Allison Jenks

Published in Issue No. 10 ~ January, 1998

Dad, for the first time in years,

picked us all up.


I sat in back with my sister.

Mom was next to him up front.

They talked and laughed.


We had never been in a car together,

all of us in such a small space.


I wonder how it would have been

if he kissed her, or placed his hand on hers.

Maybe Id have learned what its all about,

feel calm and understand.


I have never seen or been near love,

though in pieces and parts it comes across me.


She hated us when he left. We were part of him.

She drank to fill herself, swore at his name

and us that she gave him her youth and vows.

Shed never admit she still loved him.


When I watch a man cut wood in his back yard,

or one shopping with his daughter,

when I see a man and woman riding bikes together,

I feel Im missing something I may never have.


There might have been a time,

maybe those nine months and five days

I was protected inside her,

when I felt part of something.


I heard my fathers voice through her skin,

and happiness shook through her blood into mine.


Once I felt the air, the warmth was gone.

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Allison Jenks' poems have appeared in : New Orleans Review, Art Times, Wisconsin Review, American Literary Review, and Midwest Poetry Review. She was a James A. Michener fellow, awarded by John Balaban, at the University of Miami's M.F.A. program, where she was Editor In Chief of Mangrove.