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Book Cover (Cradling Monsoons)Your inner ear has fully formed.
You can hear now. I’ve heard
of mothers playing their unborn babies
Bach and Mozart because classical music
makes the brain’s spatial connections
arc towards one another like the fingertips
of Adam and God in the Sistine.

I’ve played no such music for you, and maybe,
some day, when the boy you pine for
is majoring in architecture
or when your brain goes cloudy
as you stare at your pop quiz in geometry,
you’ll hold this against me.

Truth is, I can’t bear headphones on my stomach,
won’t force you to sit in the front row seat
of your mother, the auditorium,
while Pachelbel’s Canon fires off the synapses
of your brain. For the same reason I can’t bring myself
to have your father recite French
or fractions into my belly.

No sonata or tongue or equation
could teach us what we’re learning already:
that to be human is to be heavy,
to carry more than one heart inside you.


Sarah McKinstry-BrownSarah McKinstry-Brown is a poet and performer living in Omaha, Nebraska. She is the winner of the 2011 Nebraska Book Award for Poetry for her debut collection, Cradling Monsoons, and her poems are featured in The Spoken Word Revolution Redux. You can read more of her poetry on her website and her thoughts at Cradling Monsoons.

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1 Comments

Isn't there a story? Isn't there always, well I heard one of a baby learning Torah for nine months, completeing most of a years study, through an angel in the womb. Then it's life is a search for the remaining studies for completion. Something like that.
Maybe I've got the story all wrong, but if it's right then I would think both the baby and the angel would appreciate the quiet study hall.
I liked the poem.