on Pregnancy...
by Diana Gordon



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Reactions

Walking down the street
Pregnant with my firstborn
Peoples’ reactions were distinct.

Men who were grandfathers,
would start to smile a block away
and kept on smiling as they passed.

Women my age, late 30s,
would try to smile,
but it looked more like a grimace.

My sisters, other pregnant women,
offered understanding
with a single nod.

Women who were grandmothers,
would cluck and fuss,
reminisce and bubble with joy.

Young men never noticed.

And in the corridors, young women
would plaster themselves
against the opposite wall,
fearing that pregnancy
was somehow contagious.

1999