It’s been a decade since my last pregnancy, but I distinctly remember how annoying it was to have people trying to touch my ever-growing belly. Back then, the cutesy “baby bump” term popularized by People Magazine wasn’t in vogue, so we just called it a belly. Or tummy. Or abdomen. Or gut.
The stylish maternity clothing industry was (pardon the pun) in its infancy back then, so there weren’t all those sassy little t-shirts that warned people not to touch the goods. No, I had to get by with a glare or a glower or a good old-fashioned kick to the groin.
Now, some procreative types might opine that it’s no big deal to let others cop a feel of your precious bundle o’ joy.
This poem isn’t for them.
Yessir, That’s My Belly
It’s a veritable mound.
It’s renowned for its profound capacity to astound.
It’s large, not small — bigger than a basketball.
You could hardly call it diminutive at all.
You could watch it in lieu of hippos at the zoo.
(Though at the theater, it’s true, it might obstruct your view.)
It can eclipse the sun.
It can make people run.
It’s a bun that some shun, for it appears to weigh a ton.
Call it giant, if you will; say it’s huge as a hill;
Such comments will instill nothing in me but goodwill.
YET — many is the fool who feels its planetary pull
and thinks it would be cool to touch this gestating jewel
(without permission, as a rule).
Its attraction is such that they just reach out and touch.
I hardly think Miss Manners would approve of this that much.
Those I barely even know are compelled to feel it so, caressing high (and even low!)
while, with hormones fast aflow, I long to tell them where to go.
And while I understand its draw and its ability to awe,
it’s really the last straw — it’s more than a mere faux pas —
and so….there oughta be a law.
© 2009 Carlotta Eike Stankiewicz