May 17, 2013

Badminton by Sara Biggs Chaney

3 mos. Triple marker results—abnormally high protein.
6 mos. Ultrasound—possible markers of genetic disorder, unknown.  
Recommended fetal amniocentesis to determine child’s condition. Parents declined.

After the ultrasound,
we drive south.  

We are going to the marshes,
our rackets beside us.

The dirt road is empty.
Nettles scrape our thighs.

Wet ground clutches us.
We exchange no word.

Then you back up to serve,
not minding the brush,

sting under foot. 
You toss the birdie high and gentle--allow an easy return.

From my stolid post I raise an arm,
tap back my answer.

Once before we came here,
to the muddiest promontory,

you tucked me in your concave parts,
told me how well we fit.

Today,             I swell inside
your grandmother’s dress,
(lime nylon with a jacket to match.)

I trip through grasses-- ringed, babied,  

From now on,             both of us will carry our own fear, fleshed
in a question unasked.
We toss, we catch, we cradle.
Our lives:  An old game
in new territory.

Sara Biggs Chaney lives, works, and walks her dog in Vermont. Her work is forthcoming in Stone Highway Review, Crack the Spine, Eunoia Review, and other places. You can catch up with her at

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