Initial Trajectory

"Popped out like a football!" says the doctor, to make a long story short. The nurses have different metaphors.

Under the French fryer goes the shivery little creature. A horrid sucking sound just like at the dentist’s. It’s the nice young man clearing her throat. The football starts crying out loud.

It’s not hard to cry too. No holding back. Handshakes. Quarterback gets to hold the teeny tiny first while Mom tidies up. Both still breathless. Pop's careful -- that neck’s like flubber. Hand shakes. Learning what not to do.

Nursing: there’s a weeny sucking sound, but littl’uns don’t really know how to do it right away. Mom’s on stage again; she’s already having to be a teacher.

Head swimming. Dad gets to peek into the big glass room while she's sleeping. Papoose. Can’t see if she has legs or a fishtail.

Back in the bedroom some short naps. Two days behind on sleep, not realizing it’ll get worse. Diapers for the microbrewery. Daylight: the crushed, bruised look is already going out of fashion.

Fruitbasket. Pamphlets. Souvenirs. Car seat, fumbled. Insurance forms, crumpled. Faces, everywhere, creased. Home. Increase. Flowers. Blossoming. Pigskin, inflated.

About the author:

John Broughton teaches cultural studies in education at Teachers College, Columbia University.