Wild Mushrooms

The Flip

Katie Richards

the head pushed down past the rib

then back again the head pushed down

past the rib then back again not enough

room to maneuver like too much laundry

in the wash trying to pull a soaked towel out

of a wet load of clothes from the very bottom

of the unbalanced barrel a pain in the belly

again until she pushes the other way a pain

in the belly raw like a scab picked too early

a stretching tight pulling pushing up against

until pop her feet lodge past the hip her head

lands in the sacrum the shock of being punched

in the gut like getting walloped with a baseball

her 38-week fetal body locked into position.

Katie Richards is an MFA candidate at George Mason University. She is the recipient of the 2016 Mark Craver Poetry Award and the 2020 Mary Roberts Rinehart Poetry Award. Her poetry has previously appeared or is forthcoming in the South Dakota Review, DIALOGISTValparaiso Poetry Review, SOFTBLOW, and The Inflectionist Review among other places.