Your hand rests
upon your belly, protective,
a shielding gesture all mothers recognize.
Shaking your head
at the offered beverage,
you turn instead to a bottle of water.
Moving slowly among the crowd,
you glide with care and grace, serene,
no fear of jostling the precious cargo you carry.
your peace and joy are tangible
as you move from one guest to the next,
thinking you have kept your secret safe,
presuming no one knows the truth
that has yet to be spoken aloud,
but with each brush of your hand
across your midsection,
I see your smile grow.
One can only assume,
in another seven months or so,
you’ll be grinning from ear to ear.
* First published in Coffee-Ground Breakfast / March 2014
Cristine A. Gruber, a Southern California native, is a registered caregiver and a devout vegan. Her poetry reflects her view of the human condition in all its complexity and beauty. Her work has been featured in numerous magazines, including: North American Review, Writer’s Digest, Writers’ Journal, Foliate Oak, Full of Crow, Leaves of Ink, The Old Red Kimono, The Penwood Review, Poetry Now, The Poet’s Haven, and The Tule Review. Her first full-length collection of poetry, Lifeline, was released by Infinity Publishing and is available from Amazon.com.