Chana Bloch, "Try, Try Again"




A sullen aunt at the outrage

of other women's babies,

I lived with the latest edition  

of Infertility    

the calendar's cross-stitch

of little red X's,

the doctor's breezy “Try again.”

Each month there was blood,

a punctual failure.

Be fruitful and multiply!  

Lashing myself to the effort,   

I nearly undid the three of us: 

me in my black chemise,    

white-knuckled, glum,  

the father-to-be in my bed 

almost incidental,

the child-to-be glittering away

in its lunar orbit.



Chana Bloch’s Swimming in the Rain: New & Selected Poems will be published by Autumn House Press in January 2015. Bloch is the author of four books of poems—The Secrets of the TribeThe Past Keeps ChangingMrs. Dumpty (Felix Pollak Prize in Poetry), and Blood Honey (Di Castagnola Award, Poetry Society of America). She is co-translator of The Song of Songs, Yehuda Amichai's Selected Poetry and his Open Closed Open (PEN Prize for Poetry in Translation), and Hovering at a Low Altitude: The Collected Poetry of Dahlia Ravikovitch.