American Life in Poetry: Column 137


Dill pickles with strawberry jam? Pregnant women are known to go for late night meals like that. And the senses can go haywire. Here Jessy Randall, of Colorado Springs, gives us a look at one such woman.

Superhero Pregnant Woman

Her sense of smell is ten times stronger.   
And so her husband smells funny;   
she rolls away from him in the bed.   
She even smells funny to herself,   
but cannot roll away from that.   

Why couldn’t she get a more useful superpower?   
Like the ability to turn invisible, or fly?   

The refrigerator laughs at her from its dark corner,   
knowing she will have to open it some time   
and surrender to its villainous odors.

We do not accept unsolicited submissions. American Life in Poetry is made possible by The Poetry Foundation (, publisher of Poetry magazine. It is also supported by the Department of English at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Poem copyright © 2007 by Jessy Randall. Reprinted from “A Day in Boyland,” by Jessy Randall, published by Ghost Road Press, 2007, by permission of the author. Introduction copyright © 2019 by The Poetry Foundation. The introduction's author, Ted Kooser, served as United States Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress from 2004-2006.