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