Gestational Size Equivalency Chart
Your baby is the size of a sweet pea.Your baby is the size of a cherry.Your baby is the size of a single red leafin early September. Your baby is the sizeof What if. The size of Please Lord.The size of a young lynx stretching.Heat lightning. A lava lamp.Your baby is the size of every dreamyou've ever had about being onstageand not knowing your lines. Your babyis the size of a can of Miller Lite.Apple-picking. Google. All of Google.Your baby is also the size of a googol,and also the size of the iridescenceat a hummingbird's throat. Your babyis the size of a bulletproof nap mat.Cassiopeia on a cold night. The sizeof the 1.5-degree rise in ocean tempsbetween 1901 and 2015. Your babyis the size of the lie you told your motherthe night before Senior Skip Day, andalso the size of the first time you sawa whale shark glide by, its gray heftfilling the tank's window, and alsothe size of just the very best acorn.Your baby is the size of the Mona Lisa.The size of the Louvre. The sizeof that moment in "Levon" whenthe strings first kick in. Your babyis the size of a baby-sized pumpkin.A bright hibiscus. A door. Your babyis the size of the Gravitron, and your fearthe first time you rode it that your heartmight drop right through your body,and then your elation when it didn't,when the red vinyl panels rose and felland you rose and fell with them.
“Gestational Size Equivalency Chart” from DANGER DAYS: Poems by Catherine Pierce.
Published by Saturnalia Books October 2020.
Copyright © 2020 by Catherine Pierce.
All rights reserved.
Reproduced by Poetry Daily with permission.
Catherine Pierce is the author of four books of poems, most recently Danger Days (Saturnalia 2020). Her work has appeared in The Best American Poetry, The New York Times, American Poetry Review, The Nation, the Academy of American Poets’ Poem-a-Day series, and elsewhere. An NEA Fellow and two-time Pushcart Prize winner, she co-directs the creative writing program at Mississippi State University.
"Danger Days boldly confronts political and ecological collapse head-on--and shows us that poetry has the ability both to chronicle and battle back the apocalypse."
"Danger Days is an honest-to-goodness gift. Read it and be restored."
"In these stunning poems, Pierce contends with what it means to bring life into a dying world, to still try and admire the loveliness of endings...This book is gorgeous and aching and full of the most beautiful high dangers."