“Wring or twist” by Sasha at the kitchen table at Bowmore

Monday November 19, 2018
10:32am
5 minutes
from a blanket tag

For L.

Three swollen bellies
Three sisters standing
shoulder to shoulder
Babies arriving in
March, April and May

A father
A father to one of them
married to the other two’s mother
Quakes in his body
Fights in his body
Surrender in his body
His spirit soaring
on the tails of grace notes
Crafting harmonies
with all he has
These babies whispering
from beyond
Please stay

Someone will write
this story one day
People will say
“There’s no way”
“Really?”
“How can that be?”
Maybe I will
I will write this
story my story
our story
Maybe I am
right now maybe
that’s what I’m doing
right here

Trying to make sense
of this impossible timing
of this wrecking ball
swinging between
joy and sorrow
excitement and grief

Pregnant with possibility
Dying into possibility

“Like you’ve never seen her” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Thursday May 31, 2018
8:56pm
5 minutes
allure magazine May 2017

You’ve never seen her lit up like this. You stand back and watch her, across the room, laughing, brushing her hair out of her eyes, sipping her soda water. You wonder what kind of mother she’ll be. A good one, obviously, but you wonder what her patience will be like. She can get snippy. You don’t idealize motherhood, or parenthood, or any of it. You know it’s going to be the hardest thing you’ve ever done. You close your eyes and breathe in this fall night, with these people you love, and the sausages on the grill, the asparagus salad, the Bahamas on the stereo. She catches your eye and calls you over.

“The next time he comes over” by Sasha at Harrison Hot Springs

Saturday, March 17, 2018
5:42pm
5 minutes
The Possible Universe
Claire Halliday

The next time he comes over I’m gonna tell him. Promise. I know that he has the right to know. I know it’s wrong that I’ve kept it secret. When he’s away, I don’t know, I just… I get in my groove. Not like I could forget. I’ve never felt so sick in my life. Mama says that she didn’t even know she was pregnant with me until four months in! I can’t even imagine. It was like three days after he knocked me up, I was vomiting up my cereal before strapping on my uniform and going in to work. He’s supposed to come over on Wednesday. I said I’d make Chicken a la King. Ever had that?

“ready for the feel of fire” by Sasha at her desk

Monday, February 19, 2018
7:16am
5 minutes
All Things Wasting
Mallory Tater

I keep having dreams that I’m pregnant, or giving birth, or losing a baby, or holding a baby, or handing you our baby. I google what this means and google tells me that I’m “pregnant with change” and that “there’s a part of me that I’m neglecting that needs nurturing”. Um. Kay. I’ve never been more sure of not wanting to have an actual real life screaming shitting baby, so it’s absolutely not “a baby dream may be telling you that you are actually pregnant. Congrats!” Um. Nope! I don’t tell Todd, and I don’t tell my therapist because there are more important things to discuss with both of these people.

“DANGER” by Sasha at Black River Farm

Sunday September 24, 2017
11:04pm
5 minutes
From a sign at the train station

“Dangerrrr!” Henry shouts and we’re off, climbing up and up and then there’s just a pinprick of light. Tim is screaming and Arthur tells him to buck up and the rest of us don’t know the difference.

When we’re all up out of the mine, Henry lays on the ground and weeps. Mona’s pregnant. They’ve been trying for three years. She’s finally pregnant.

“She wants to keep the baby.” by Julia at Starbucks


Friday June 10, 2016 at Starbucks
7:10am
5 minutes
from Facebook post

-So we’re going to do this then? Is this actually happening?!
-Well you’re not exactly doing anything, are you.
-Sam. What the fuck. This is my baby too.
-How do we know if this will even be a baby? What if I change my mind-aren’t I allowed to do that?
-Woah. Yes..I mean, of course you… But I thought we talked about it. I thought we made the decision together?
-Yeah, if I remember correctly, I told you I was pregnant and you said you wanted me to keep it. The end.
-That’s not true, Sam, you wanted the same thing! Where is all this coming from all of a sudden?
-Where is it coming from? How about there’s a living thing growing inside me right now and everyone around me seems to be an expert on the situation but when I say something, it’s “coming out of nowhere.”
-Okay. I… didn’t realize–
-No, you didn’t realize, that’s the first smart thing you’ve said.
-I’m sorry, babe, I really am…

“Read. Think.” By Julia at her desk


Monday December 7, 2015
10:12pm
5 minutes
Edible Magazine

Okay so remember when I told you that my horoscope for yesterday told me to avoid confrontation at all costs? Well I swear to God I should have listened because it was RIGHT, Leah. It was the freakiest thing I’ve ever experienced in my entire life. I go to the grocery store off 24th every Wednesday, right? Like clockwork or whatever, it’s like, that’s my routine. But my credit card wasn’t working for some reason and like, I use it there every single time so I was starting to think it was the machine’s fault, you know? Anyway so as I’m telling this to the pregnant girl behind the counter, who is supposed to know me so well by now cause I’m like always in there, regular customer, no surprises, I bring my own bags, whatever, she starts breathing super heavily like what I’m saying to her is giving her a panic attack. And honestly I wasn’t being like, super mean, but I also, honestly, wasn’t being super nice, just cause it’s so weird for this thing not to work and like I have stuff to do so I’m getting a bit anxious, you know, just a typical reaction based on the situation, right? And as I’m like, look lady, I’m telling you it’s not my card, SHE STARTS GOING INTO LABOUR.

“Abundance” by Julia at her desk


Friday May 1, 2015
4:38pm
5 minutes
from a vintage matchbook

Daddy and little girl
Playing with new tricycle and puppy
Good man
Good good man
And the ball bouncing one two three
Happiness until the air runs out
Mommy comes with belly full of baby new
Big sister runs and jumps
Daddy pushes little girl on swing
WEEE!
HIGHER!
Laughing and family growing
Tell me when you get cold!
Mommy and puppy new keep their watchful eyes open
Little girl dragging tricycle along
Can’t ride it if you don’t get back on!
Daddy kneels down next to little girl
I’m right beside you, don’t be afraid.
Mommy and belly baby new, Daddy and little girl smile

“Share with a friend!” by Julia at her desk


Wednesday November 26, 2014
6:45pm
5 minutes
from a thank you card

She stole my baby name and that’s why we’re not friends. I told her, I said, I’m really excited about this name, it means a lot to Philip and I, and I can’t think of a single better name for our future child. So I laid it all out. I was honest, I was candid. I made sure she knew the stakes were high for me. There has to be some sort of unwritten, or even written, fully and explicitly written rule about baby name theft. And how if it’s not illegal, should be. Even if someone isn’t pregnant, it doesn’t mean their baby name is not still something incredibly important. And Sheila was pregnant, sure, and fine, but, but, she took something from me. A million other names in the free world, and my best friend, takes my best name, and then acts like we never had that really clear conversation about what we would name our kids that rainy march saturday afternoon. The nerve. So obviously when I found out that I was unable to conceive, I withheld that information from Sheila because I learned to only share important things with real friends.

“We invite you to relax” by Sasha on her porch


Sunday, September 7, 2014
5:41pm
5 minutes
from some bullshit air transat “discount” lounge voucher

It’s hard for me to take myself seriously anymore. My writing is shit. I got a tattoo that is lame and predicable and offensive and awful. I’m eating bags of chocolate chips. I’m fatter than I’ve ever been. And yet… I have hope. You know why? Because there’s a man sleeping over there and I love this man and underneath all the chocolate and the fat is a baby that is his and mine. We made this little tadpole. We made it like a pizza, but with more sex and less (a bit less) mozzarella. Maybe I’ve been taking myself too seriously. Maybe that’s the joke.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAH

“I watch a news clip of” by Sasha in her garden


Wednesday July 9, 2014
9:02pm
5 minutes
We Should Do Something
Laurel Leigh


I watch the news clip again and again and I can’t believe he said it and I can’t believe it’s real.

“Are you sure?”
“Yes.”
“How sure?”
“I went to the fucking doctor.”
Silence.

She’s crying and he’s on the other side of the road, wringing his hands, hanging his head, shuffling his feet.

“Rebecca, you’ve gotten yourself into a very delicate position…”
There are other ways I can think of putting it. There are others ways I can think of. There are other ways that a man can turn away, can run, can forget to return your phone calls or your iPhone charger.

“I’m sorry. We should’ve been more careful…” Is what he says.
I’m drowning.

“Why don’t you meet me at Frans for breakfast and we can talk this out in person?” He’s whispering, which means she’s close by.
“No I will not fucking eat pancakes while you tell me to get an abortion!” I scream and I feel his silence like a knife in my ribs. I hang up the phone.

I call my mother.

“get a rise outta you!” by Sasha in her garden


Tuesday July 1, 2014
9:12pm
5 minutes
from the Phoenix Rising espresso bag

Bella: You know what, Heather? You need a reality check. Faster than this fucking heat wave. You’re forgetting that floral wasn’t what it was this year, last year… Last year we could barely move that whole wall! No one fucking wanted it! And now –
Heather: I know everything you’re saying! You’re treating me like I’m an idiot!
Bella: I’m simply trying to explain to you that –
Heather: You’re trying to get a rise out of me.
Bella: I am. You’re right. I’m sorry. I’m just… We are being forced to expand here and if we don’t go for it we’re going to regret it. For sure. We’re going to –
Heather: We are going for it. We just have different ideas of what that looks like!
Bella: We can’t have different ideas! We’re fucking partners!
Heather: Bella. You need to calm down. We need to talk about this like adults.
Bella: Do you even care?
Heather: What?
Bella: Do you even care about what happens here?
Heather: What are you talking about?
Bella: Ever since you got knocked up you really seem to have your head in the clouds. Or, your womb.

“Less like a lightning strike” by Sasha at Capital Espresso


Saturday March 7, 2014
3:54pm
5 minutes
An interview with Barbara Kingsolver

It was less like lightning than she expected. It was slow. Like chilli stewing. Or, a crocus opening. It was more like a tumble than a fall.
“I’m going to Guatemala,” he said.
She felt her heart dance downwards, towards her guts, like a maple leaf.
All she could muster was, “But…”
It had all begun to change when he found Savannah. This had happened before, with a previous lover, who’d adopted a cocker spaniel and soon left for the desert. “I’m being called,” she’d said.
“I’m going to follow the sun…” What does that mean. What does that even mean? It rises and it sets every day so there’s really nothing to follow anywhere but right where you are.
She’d been deeply afraid that this would happen, from the moment Savannah had showed up on his front porch in the middle of a snowstorm. “Found a pooch,” he’d texted her and she’d felt a coil in her chest like a snake, waking.
“But… I’m pregnant…” She finally finished what she’d begun to say and this time it was his turn to fall, less like a leaf, more like a six foot three red-bearded man, fainting.

“may find offensive” by Sasha at her desk


Sunday, September 29, 2013
11:42pm
5 minutes
from a TV warning on Global

1. I hear a knock at the door.
2. I open the cabinet and throw the bag of chocolate chips inside that I’ve been eating.
3. I go to the door and I open it.
4. She’s wearing a wide-brimmed hat with a sunflower on it.
5. She’s smiling but her eyes are cloudy.
6. She looks how I felt yesterday.
7. We’re all more related than we think/
8. “Welcome to the neighbourhood!” She says, in an accent that coats her words like caramel. “I’m Marlena!”
9. She hands me a casserole dish.
10. “The girls call me Lena,” she says. “The girls?” I say.
11. “The neighbourhood girls!” She looks at her hands, dirty, and then looks at me, apologetically.
12. “We heard you’re expecting!” She smiles.
13. “”We”?” I ask.
14. “The girls, silly!”
15. I touch my belly, an obligatory move.
16. “When’s he coming?” She keeps smiling.
17. “Who?” I say, thinking she’s referring to Geoff, who’s still in Windsor.
18. “The bambino!”
19. “Oh, February.”
20. I invite her in.
21. She declines.
22. I invite her in.
23. She accepts.

“STOP HERE” by Sasha at Rena and Tahir’s


Sunday, July 21, 2013
12:11am
5 minutes
from a traffic sign in Mississauga

She’s wearing a World Series sweatshirt and cut-offs and I don’t know how, but she manages to make it look like couture. She’s wearing dark red lipstick. That’s why. Lipstick makes it different, makes it sparkle, makes it bomb, but I mean “bomb” as in “exploding light”, in a good way. I glance down at her belly and I realize that she’s preggers, but must only be three or four months along. That is why her skin is so luminous. It makes my womb ache, just to steal glances at her, to taste the sweetness of the dew on her cheek. I’m so attracted to her I could almost call myself a lesbian, in this quartz crystal moment. Beethoven is the soundtrack, regardless of the fact that my iPod is playing A Tribe Called Quest. I’m scared that I might start crying if she gets off the train, that my heart might break worse than when my mother told me I was an accident thanks to Tromba, worse than when my father forgot my twelfth birthday and spent the day alphabetizing his record collection.

“To learn more” by Julia at her desk


Saturday, December 22, 2012
5:30pm
5 minutes
Sasha’s November Enbridge bill

Typical Sandy. She was bending down to tie her shoe laces and when she burped she threw up all over the new tiles in the hallway. I said to her, Sandy, are you okay? And before that I also said, Goddammit Sandy. She was upset by it but she wasn’t really sorry. I guess for her throwing up all over someone’s brand new entrance way is a regular occurrence. I was mad at myself because I thought I had poisoned her or something with bad shrimp cocktail, or a rotten cashew. I was blaming myself the whole time because I didn’t want to blame her. Cleaning out the grooves and the grout had me cursing her name more than once. I spoke to her husband, Lee, afterwards, and he said she just has a very weak stomach. Also that she was sorry. I suppose it’s better late than never. I was expecting to never hear those words from her. Turns out she was pregnant and Lee just didn’t want to say anything in case it was too soon to announce something like that. I almost called him a moron. I was biting my tongue, trying not to say, WHY DID YOU LET YOUR PREGNANT WIFE EAT STEAK TARTARE? But I didn’t. I suppose he was just as sorry as she was.
Well, my tiles are fine now, if you were wondering.