Poem of the Week | January 10, 2022

This week’s Poem of the Week is “Two-Pack Pregnancy Test” by Laura Paul Watson!

Laura Paul Watson lives and writes in Pine, Colorado. She is a graduate of the MFA program at the University of Florida. When not writing, she works as a General Contractor. Her work has also appeared in Agni, Boulevard, and Poetry Ireland Review, among others.


Two-Pack Pregnancy Test

Think azalea. Areola.
Think Aphrodite’s rose,
rose of your grandmother’s lounger.
Think the pink cloud of infusion
slung above you like a pink thought.
Doxorubicin pink. Lady-cancer pink.
The pink of a scar
running one part silk and one part fire.
This pink declares you
singular, splendor. You are a blossom
tossed on the water. Pick a sky, pink upheld,
the sunrise made pinker by a cloud.
Pick a way to multiply.
You wanted this.
You wanted the opposite.
Think a feminine thought.
Each package lies
candy-wrapper pink
on your bathroom counter:
rose of Sharon, rose of Laura.
Rosé. Begonia.
Hail Mary and Hail You equally,
Rubescent expression
of pure unfulfillment —
And one more: antioxidant pink,
pink as whatever bud is blooming
on the CT screen,
ready to shake you
from the shelf.


Author’s Note

It turns out, I’m good at growing things in my body, just not children. “Two-Pack Pregnancy Test” came after the possibility of a pregnancy and a subsequent negative pregnancy test. I found myself angry at the bright-pink packaging and its insistence on its version of femininity and womanhood. Though I thought I’d made the decision long ago to not have children, after undergoing treatment for breast cancer, including a double mastectomy, radiation, and chemotherapy, I felt angry that this decision was, finally, made for me.