The first time an alien moved in my body, it flipped like a fish. There were no butterfly wings, gently fluttering in my womb. When I rested, it swam; crashing against my belly walls, a salmon trying to jump up a waterfall. I played tennis and ate well. I walked tall, slender with a basketball belly carrying my determined, active acrobat.
A few years later, a sloth moved in, sleeping most of the time. I was tired, listless and large. Food was revolting; stinking, ugly globs of gross. Except pizza. The sloth grew larger and started stretching her long limbs, jabbing me with her pointy knees and elbows. With the flat of my palm, I pushed back. She broke out of her prison womb early, anxious to stretch and coo and sleep.
This prose poem was written from the Poetry Mixtape 22 prompt: On Motherhood and Earning It. Funny thing — I’m posting this on my daughter’s 18th birthday. She went from uncomfortable sloth to sunshine. And she still has long limbs.