The girl in my womb cries wolf
through ten days of false labor.
Overfilling her space, I realize
this is only her first rebellion.
Already she measures me,
and feeds on my spirit from her tendril.
My grandmother fed generations
from a root cellar,
stone stacked on stone
and dug in deep,
even the morning air kept to midday.
Wooden planks sagged under
her sacrifice of vegetables,
tightly packed in brine,
and berries sealed in paraffin.
I want for my daughter
to make a self-preserving place.
I shore the ceiling, sweep the floor
and turn over the planks to correct any warp.
Overhead on a shelf,
protected inside a spider's house,
I save a blown robin's egg,
a broken porcelain doll,
mussel shell buttons
and a cardinal's wing.