Pink or blue She stood before the mirror bringing the curler down on lashes shaking with fear taking out her lipstick she added too-bright red to lips that would soon scream, cry or sigh she had done everything right and wrong holding the stick under her urine stream positioning it just right and now it was time to wait to see if one little mistake would cost her her life or so it felt it wasn’t that she hated children Megan, her six-year-old niece, was three-legged race, tumble-on-the-grass joy but there was the world her world full of 12 hour days a boyfriend whose work history was a gap-toothed chain and the bathroom she went back to it again the one place that was immaculate at peace the one place where she cried and breathed filled the tub full of water and slept there were thirty seconds left thirty seconds when she thought what would a son look like or daughter if it had been different would her heart be bulging with pride her hands pulling pink and blue ribbons from the air 10-second sprint of a thousand emotions the buzzer rang she looked down at the stick all white with just the brand name pink not pregnant she rolled up in a fetal position confused, broken, unanything and let her lashes cry.
Janet Collinge's Questions:
1. Does the putting on the makeup while waking for the results of a pregnancy test seem unnatural to you? Is it something you would do if you are female?
2. When you read this poem, do you think it is the narrator who is saying the lipstick is too-bright red or the mind of the female?
3. If the woman had been pregnant, what do you believe she would have done with the baby?