Ticket | Josie Hunter

Photo by freestocks on Unsplash

The young woman carried life,

her uterus a holding shell

for promise and progress.

This child had no idea

how much was going to be

required of them.

This child was supposed to do

remarkable things.

This child was her golden ticket.

Once born, this child was going to be

buzzed into a world

where expectation was normalized.

You must perform.  

You must be buzzing with production.

Always. All the time.

No breaks. No vacations. No days off.

And that was it.

This woman knew.

Hustled ‘til her hands were hard.

Her hands calloused,

raised bumps of remembrance,

knowing where she came from.

Never forgot it.

Her parents never let her.

They whipped her into shape.

The welt marks visible

in her mind,

serving as a reminder

to stay buzzing

with stuff to do.

They said,

“To be idle, is to wait.

You ain’t got the time.

You must take

all and never waver.

Rest is for the few

who got it.”

And she didn’t.

She had no time left.

Her body swelled with

excitement for this baby.

You don’t get a chance to just be

sometimes and she couldn’t wait

to place that burden of do on this kid.

Unfortunately, it’s a cycle.

One she’s sure she wants to unbreak.

Tony said she’d be a great mother,

when he nutted in her.

Then he vanished.

He said he had to go to work

or get milk—something—

but he didn’t return.

This young woman knew tired.

Perhaps a child

will only make it worse

but at least she was reassured that

when she’s near her expiration,

her youthful waters crusting at the seams,

her joints creaking like the basement door,

she has someone

to take care of her.

Her ticket. The gold one

growing in her inner shell.


  1. This poem has such a powerful message, Josie! I love the fact that you approach the topic of pregnancy in a realistic way. I sympathized so much with this character, but I also disliked the fact that they were automatically putting their issues onto their child and claiming them as their golden ticket out of the life that they’re living. Such great writing. Good job!

    • Thank you, Tiana, for your compliment! I’m glad you connected so much with the poem. I think it’s important to understand that pregnancy can look and feel differently depending on the mother/family’s situation.

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