x y z & &
In x y z & & , Pattie McCarthy crafts sonnets in celebration of her children from the words of poets, critics, newspaper stories, email, and even etymologies, and the results illumine our perceptions of family and bodies and the world we inhabit. Does x stand for all our firstborns, and & for every parent? McCarthy’s specific perceptions remind us all of our own tethered circumstances.
from x y z & &
& to & such a pretty bird. this is
the first sonnet for the third baby. if
I sound prepared for that, I am not.
let me know you’re all right in there, would you?
Kevin says : I dreamt it was a boy.
my brother says : your favorite presidents
cannot be F D R & Jefferson—
that’s illogical. Emmett says : when I
was pregnant with you, that was a tough week too.
Asher says : seashell, voilà. & the third
(having outgrown a perfect, fragile world)
baby ( bird from brid OE from unknown
origin) “because he was crying
I like him most of all,” says my son.
Copyright © 2015 Pattie McCarthy
Pattie McCarthy is the author of five books of poetry, most recently Nulls and Marybones, and over a half-dozen chapbooks, including scenes from the lives of my parents and fifteen genre scenes. She was awarded a Pew Fellowship in the Arts in 2011. McCarthy teaches literature and creative writing at Temple University.