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Ode on a Big Red Ball

(I recently purchase a large red fitness ball to sit on, to encourage my baby to be in an anterior position, to improve my posture, and for possible use in labor.)

THOU still unpopped bride of bounciness, 
  Thou foster-child of Cramp and slow Time,
Target salesman, who canst thus express
  A flowery tale more sweetly than our rhyme:
What red-rubbered legend haunts about thy shape
     Of roundness or texture, or of both,
    In Halls or the carpets of Living Room?
  What aches or pains are these? What sciatic loth?
What mad spring? What struggle to relieve?
    What air and plug? What wild ecstasy?

Heard contractions are sharp, but those unheard
  Are sweeter; therefore, ye soft rump, bounce on;
Not to the well ligaments, but, more endear’d,
 Relief to the backside areas of no tone:
Fair ball, beneath my frame , thou canst not leave
  Thy spring, nor ever can that air be banished;
    Bold Ball, never canst thou rudely collapse,
Though straining under me—yet, do not grieve;
    You cannot fail, though thou hast not thy rest,
  For ever wilt thou prop, and still be round!

Ah, happy, happy ball! that cannot shed
  Your job, nor ever bid the Bouncer adieu;
And, happy derierre, unwearièd,
  For ever tilting baby anterior;
More happy love! more happy, happy labor!
  For ever warm and might to be enjoy’d,
    For ever panting, and for ever pregnant;
All breathing human labor soon gone,
  That leaves an epidural high-sorrowful and cloy’d,
    A burning perineum, and a biting tongue.

Who are these coming to the Labor and Delivery?
  To what red ball, O pricy obstetrician,
Lead’st thou that heifer lowing at the monitor,
  And all her silken flanks with wires and tubes drest?
What little baby by crotch or c-section,
  Or cabbage patch with peaceful stork,
    Is delivered of its sac, this pious morn?
And, little babe, thy frame for evermore
 Will accessible be; and not a ball, to bounce
   Why then thou mother can drain the air.

O Ball shape! fair cradle! With support
  Of heavily pregnant mother overwrought,
With swollen ankle and the stretch mark snake;
  Thou, silent form! dost ease our weary pelvis
As doth eternity: Foot Pump’d Divine!
  When old age doth mean advanced maternal age,
    Thou shalt remain, in midst of other woe
  Than ours, a friend to mommy, to whom thou say’st,
‘Bouncy is good, good bouncy,—that is all
    Ye blow on earth, and all ye need to blow.’

~Hat tip to Keats. Anyone standing on or near his grave just felt a strange rumble.

14 comments to Ode on a Big Red Ball

  • Ha ha ha ha ha ha. Oh I hope it helps. I love the poem, although I fear Keats may indeed be spinning. I dunno, he probably had a great sense of humor.

  • That was quite hilarious!! Maybe I need a red rubber ball?

  • Oh, I love it! My ball is blue and served me well during my labor with Jacob. It has taken its rightful place along side our other unused exercise equipment, but it doesn’t stay there for long. You can imagine that 2 boys cannot resist the temptation of a giant blue bouncy ball.

  • The old English major in me is smiling contentedly. And laughing out loud.

    If you don’t publish a book someday, Mopsy, I’ll eat my shoe.

  • Shannon – I’ll give you one of my shoes. She just doesn’t get the book publishing thing and I’ve tried.

  • mopsy

    I have an old English major in me too, Shannon. And my parents thought I’d never use my degree…

  • Glad to see I’m not the only one on the “Mopsy for Publication” band wagon. In due time…. 🙂

  • Hi, I’m here through “I have to say” blog and I thought I’d let you know how much I like the Emily Dickinson quote on your header!

  • My ball was rainbow colored, and while it was not well-used once labor really kicked in, it ended up being the ONLY thing that could settle Sam down during his colic freak outs. So basically my husband and I bounced on our rainbow ball holding Sam for the first 6 months of his life. I wish you’d told me you were in the market – I’d of sent it to you in a heartbeat.

    Brilliant post, as usual.

  • I keep coming back to read this, it is so stinking funny.

    “by crotch or c-section”
    “ye soft rump, bounce on”
    “Foot Pump’d Divine!”

    You are killing me.

  • Jenni

    Truly inspired! The mental images were many and varied, and all very, very familiar!

  • hamster

    I loved my red ball, and I love your poem.

  • This is new to me–the ball concept. What a grand introduction! Keats couldn’t possibly appreciate–he was never pregnant, you know. But I appreciate, and am laughing in a puddle on the floor (while still managing to type).

  • Julana

    We have a couple of those balls, for our son’s physical therapy. Those big balls are serious business. 🙂

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