Mr. and Mrs. Gordon Steele Atwater*
of 1306 Canterbury Road
announce the birth of a son
Gordon Steele Atwater, Jr.
on March 13 at Duke Hospital
The Atwaters also have a daughter
Cynthia Marie
Mrs. Atwater is the former
Gladys Scarborough of Durham

          My dear Mrs. Atwater, my dear Mrs. Former
          My dear Mrs. Gordon Steele Atwater
          Mrs. Atwater, Senior
          My dear Mrs. mother of Gordon Steele Junior
          Would you please rise a little in your dressing gown,
          Rest on your elbow, and tell all
          the sponsors
          Now that your womb is emptied and flat
          How very difficult it was to do that?
          But how even harder, Mrs. Gladys Atwater,
          the miracle birth of a child to a former,
          A former latter, now a goner.
          For birth to elude the frantic embalmer
          Would you please recite
          What taxidermy has yielded this stuffing
          in spite of all evidence to the contrary
          For the newspaper’s printed your obituary.
          Your body’s a trophy and on it
          Is inscribed your death rattle, your baby’s bonnet.
          Babies do rise from the dead bodies of women
          If they let them

          *Names are fictional