Expectant | Sophie Panzer
Updated: Mar 28
My friend has great-grandchildren. My grandmother, sly. You’ll have all the help you need. My
mother, eager. I want to be an aunt. My sister, thoughtless. In science we needed a permission slip to watch women split open like fallen apples. Ms. B taught the words they forgot to mention in health. Perineal tear. My insides tick half past 24. My period, worse every year, is why I don’t believe in anything. At the newspaper I cleave the staff in two: those condemned to ooze in meetings and those who never have to sit in their own clots. At an old summer camp job I loved the kids all day, then gave them back. To mothers mostly. When the fathers came they talked too much and stared too long. A baby screams itself blue in a restaurant, a museum, an airplane cabin. The mother whispers shhhh and please please please and no one is coming to help.
Sophie Panzer is the author of the chapbooks Bone Church (dancing girl press 2020), Mothers of the Apocalypse (Ethel Press 2019) and Survive July (Red Bird Chapbooks 2019). She has received support for her writing from the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards and the Quebec Writers Federation. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Threadcount, Menacing Hedge, Whale Road Review, Coffin Bell Journal, The Hellebore, and others. She lives in Philadelphia.