Kelly Rowe | Child Bed Fever

Child Bed Fever. Poems by Kelly Rowe. Number 16 in our Rane Arroyo Series, and our 15th chapbook of 2022.

Publication:  November 28, 2022 [100 copies]
23 pages
ISBN 978-1-949333-92-3
$ 12.00

Image by Patty Paine from Wrecked Archive.

Kelly Rowe received her MFA in English from the University of Iowa, and has published poems in journals including the Iowa Review, Virginia Quarterly Review, Poetry Northwest, Seneca Review, Southern Poetry Review, North American Review and Pittsburgh Poetry Review. Her chapbook, Flying South on the Back of a Dove, was published by the Texas Review Press in January, 2019. Her full-length manuscript, Rise Above the River, won the 2021 Able Muse Book Award and will be  published in spring, 2023. She lives in Flagstaff, Arizona, and works as a volunteer attorney on behalf of undocumented immigrants.


They rose in the dark, went barefoot
through the wet grass to gather
windfalls before the birds arrived;

the baby, in her smocked dress,
swayed down the path, a finger fluttering
in each of her mother’s hands.

My aunt will not remember
this moment, the last
in her ninety-five years

when she buzzed from fruit
to honeycomb, in the orchard
of her parents’ joy.

They weren’t afraid of the scythe
they saw in the morning sky.
What was there to fear?

The dark was only a web
of leafy branches, bowed down,
heavy and sweet, but beyond

the orchard, swollen 
as her belly,
the creek roared, near flood.

[ Thanks to Coal Hill Review for first publishing this poem. ]