I'm never going to get soft.
I think to myself
as I stand in front of the mirror
pinching my underarm skin
my brow furrowed
in resolute determination.
Nine months later my belly is stretched like a tent over pegs,
pulling, making room
and I know
this wineskin which has held so much new wine
could no longer be trusted not to burst.
I hold my belly in my hands
clinched between finger and palm
battle worn and pliable
my eyes weary, dark, deep
I nestle into myself, look into the mirror
and realize that
becoming soft may be the more beautiful gift.