I Saw Eve

by Hannah Matzecki

though in Hebrew, it’s Chava—

not as in dwelling, not as in
at least it’s a— but alive

(all vital) (all vigor) (as she was)
unblushing, spitting sun-

flower seed shells into her palm, one hand
rested on her belly full of boys, and them

already sure the soil beneath her feet was theirs:
theirs to turn and till and sow and sprout, theirs

to gather with oxen (like the old days), theirs
to harvest and to silo, just for them—

She didn’t see me
seeing her smile

at the flips they flopped behind her belly-
button, or giggle at the way their

little hiccups made her hips jump
(up and down) and (out and in)—

She didn’t see me
watching her wonder

at the men they would become, wonder if
they would grow tall grow old have straight

spines long legs, wonder if they would
find a friend to call in a midnight panic, if they

would fall in love (more than once), if
they would fail and flail over

and over
and over again—

She didn’t see me notice
that she winced as she asked

(hoping) (pleading) (mean-
ing) (with little prayers)

to be there for it all, to let her please
keep their knuckles warm

whenever snow
ripped through their wool—

She didn’t see me knowing she sometimes wished
they’d dissolve into drifting clouds or wash away

with the bathwater, knowing she sometimes worried they’d
be born sneering, snatching at a rib they said

had been theirs first, and wasn’t that
all that mattered anyway—

She didn’t hear me whisper that
a mother is just a woman, but also

that a woman
made the world.

Hannah M. Matzecki is a mother, writer, and the editor of Kitchen Table Quarterly. Her poetry has been featured in West Trade Review and Birdcoat Quarterly, as well as on any refrigerator with those little word magnet tiles. She lives in Los Angeles with her family and two demanding cats.