Doctors say my uterus is dirt— fertile,

sitting in this old pot, able to produce life

the pain of it all, ignored. After all, this

is about the baby.


My husband told his family

that we were expecting, that we

were pregnant— but my plight, my pushing,

was suffered alone— he watched,

cheering for my trauma as if attending

a fucking football game; my screams,

drowned out by the fetus.

He loves his son,


and I suffer alone, trying to make this home

feel more like a house— I don’t want

to raise this thing here— I am choking

on the cracking yellow wallpaper

that chains me

to a being that is only half of me

and wholly someone else.


The lifeform looks up at me

with eyes that I don’t recognize,

a smile I cannot mirror,

and my heart stays still.


Biographical Note: Originally from Warner Robins, Georgia, Hailie Cochran is an English and Creative Writing major at Mercer University, where she enjoys workshopping poems with her friends and walking around campus at odd hours to people-watch. Her work has appeared in two editions of Mercer’s literary magazine, The Dulcimer, and her poem “Napkin Note” was named honorable mention in the 2022 Agnes Scott College Writers’ Festival contest.