The second miscarriage was the best of all.
The sonogram showed an empty five-week husk;

it slipped out like the starting fall
of a Rube Goldberg machine,

knocking down dominoes, rolling through chutes,
tipping buckets, triggering bells.

A call went out to every cell: spring-cleaning time!
Out spilled grime, worries, expectations,

filling pad after pad, making room
for the mother of all endorphin rushes.

I opened a beer and played a tune in a flush
of joy, life and death humming around me.


Sarah Carleton writes poetry, edits fiction, plays the banjo, and raises her son in Tampa, Florida. Her poems have appeared in numerous publications, including Houseboat, Shark Reef, Wild Violet, The Binnacle, Cider Press Review, Nimrod, Ekphrastic, Chattahoochee Review, Kindred, Spillway, Tar River Poetry and Crab Orchard Review.