Practically Apparent

by Kathryn Kay

©Copyright 1944, 1997, by KATHRYN KAY

No part of this book may be reproduced in any form whatsoever without written permission of the author.

What to Look For:


Author's Interpretation of the Book's Cover


First Gift, Prenatal Soliloquy, and Safe Way.

Practically Apparent

Morning Thot
Examining Board
No Bees or Flowers
Newton Notwithstanding
Navel Maneuvers
No Sissy This!
Next Round
Beaten Path
Rueful Reflections
Mirror Talking
Conversation at Dawn
Be Reasonable
Growing Difficulty
Song at Seven Months
The Low-down
Night Song to a Husband
Routine at Eight Months
Layette Layout
Admonition at Nine Months
Overdue-ing It
At Too Long Last
No Sign Yet
Old Story
The Fireworks
Coming Out Song
Take A Letter

Author's Interpretation of the Cover

"There should be pink for little girls and blue for little boys and something white and very washable for the undercovering."



For the sheer magnificence of bearing a child and to those who helped make the experience reasonably safe as well as fascinating; especially Dr. Edwin G. Lee, who, I'm sure, has more patience than his patients; to his long-suffering nursing staff who bore up bravely under my boring; and most of all, to my own husband who knows wo well the difficulties of being practically a parent, the unwordable gratitude of
The Author.


First Gift

You'll hear lots of talk
about sacrifice
that mothers must make,
but, baby, your dad also pays a steep price
for your tiny sake.
A mother, it takes to make one little life
and so I must give
a part of the woman I know as wife
that you, child, might live.
For I realize there won't be any more
our world of just two
and part of her heart that's been mine heretofore
I'm giving to you.

In all of her dreams, now, you'll have a large share
and in her dear eyes,
the shiningness that I alone could put there,
your smile will surprise.
The hours of boy and girl fun we have known,
your coming immures,
gay hours that always have been mine alone,
from now on are yours.
Don't think your dad doesn't know joy will be his,
it's hard to explain
the intricate way that life's happiness is
all tangled with pain,
and tho you don't know yet what I'm speaking of,
your heart understands
that I'm giving part of the woman I love
into your baby hands.

Prenatal Soliloquy

Where is the soul of this,
the child that's stirring
beneath my heart? How is a soul evolved?
Where is the other miracle occurring,
the one that time forever leaves unsolved?
Do souls develop like the child I'm bearing?
Is there a soul that's growing for this child?
For this new body my own is preparing,
somewhere, is there a soul being compiled?
If so, how does my body's excess baggage,
that lies within me now so cozy-curled,
get tied up with its soul in one small package
that's painfully delivered to the world?
This body, ever growing in dimension,
with tiny limbs that dearly love to prod
is somehow not beyond my comprehension
but its soul is still as unexplained as God.

Where is its soul right now, this very minute?
Is it a finished thing, complete and whole,
or is it waiting for this new life to begin it,
what goes into the making of a soul?
I know were I the one to do the choosing,
I'd take the kind of faith spring keeps on using,
I'd take the steadfastness that makes a star.
For wisdom I would take the sun that's setting,
I'd take the strength one finds in blackest night;
its courage from the new dawn I'd be getting,
and patience from time's never-ending flight.
Oh, please, when it is time for soul dispensing,
and You choose, it doesn't matter how it's done,
the soul for this new life now just commencing,
please, God, pick out a very special one!

Safe Way

I don't know what you've heard
about this world, child,
I don't know yet, in what mold you've been cast,
but whether you're a man child or a girl child,
some facts you'd better know at first than last.
Life isn't something you can brush off lightly,
you may as well get that straight from the start.
Right now I know you think all stars shine brightly,
you're so close to all those new ones in my heart.

But, baby, out here stars sometimes get tarnished
in spite of everything you try to do,
some days with happiness are sparsely garnished,
and even dreams get frayed at edges, too.
You should have brand new stars all fresh and shiny,
and, if I can, you know I'll give you some,
but just in case I can't, my sweet, my tiny,
you'd better bring them with you when you come.

Practically Apparent

Morning Thot

It's incredible
when I'm empty,
food once edible
does not tempt me.

Examining Board

The better
to confirm
I hie off to our physician,
like guinea pig in unfamiliar scene,
and, as I take the weird position
assumed by gals in my condition,
remind myself that this is pure routine.

Modestly, in white sheet, covered
by a nurse who, bland has hovered,
I lie supine with limbs flared to the skies;
sporadic bits of conversation
augment the investigation
as doctor probes and pokes and verifies.
Tho I assure you I'm no prudist,
neither is my cult a nudist,
and tho I know it's all matter of course,
I can't pretend I'm not a-spraddle
with feet in stirrups but no saddle
and nothing where there ought to be a horse!

No Bees or Flowers

When mother thot
me old enough
we had a little session
in which she told me of the bees and flowers.
It seemed, then, rather dullish stuff
and gave me the impression
that bees had highly over-rated powers.
Then, assuming me acquainted with
the so-called "facts of life,"
she went her mental way and I went mine.
I half forgot the little myth
'til man took me to wife
and I found it was slightly out-of-line.
No bees or flowers had much to do
with my new revelry
and I pitied them in manner light and breezy,
but compared to what I'm going thru
begetting progeny
those bees and flowers get off too doggoned easy!

Newton Notwithstanding

I sit me down
with small anticipation
no more do I revel when I sup;
it offers me but little consolation
when to my lips I place a steaming cup,
since you've reversed the law of gravitation
and what goes down now, thanks to you, comes up!


It's utterly ridiculous
that I feel so conspicuous,
fine specimen of motherhood I make!
Embarrassment my face has mottled
that part of me is neatly bottled,
but each time doctor says to take—I take!
With tummy that is babe-unbornful,
and vial that of disguise is scornful
I sit with rigid back and glassy eye;
but I am not the only human
assessed for excess albumen—
I'll just pretend I am some other guy!

Navel Maneuvers

I have found the
that I glory most in
is the navel observation
I am now engrossed in.

No Sissy This!

What if it's not a boy?
Well, sue me!
I call him Spud or Butch or Spike
because he is doing to me
I find most unladylike!


Says Hollywood,
"You must put on a big front
if you would reach fame's highest pinnacle."
To me that seemed just a publicity stunt
and the thot made me, quite frankly, cynical;
but nature, the wag, put the trick in her bag
and she said, "Let's abide by the ruling."
Now I must confess, as I struggle to dress,
I've put on a big front and no fooling!


I gaze in unfeigned
at where I've put on pounds and ounces,
like Buddha, lost in contemplation,
except that what I'm watching, bounces!

Next Round

Fast I used to be
in action,
lithe and agile as a cat,
does it give you satisfaction
to know you have changed all that?
Hear you mother, little pet,
heave and puff and snort and blow,
hand in a kitchenette
as a water buffalo.
Tell me, my front-line distortion,
how am I to bend and stoop,
while within my middle portion
you are playing loop-the-loop?
Listen, little inside sport,
pretty soon we'll square accounts,
I grunt now when you cavort,
but wait til give you the bounce!

Beaten Path

I find there's one thing
in this set-up
that somehow seems to make me get up
a lot more often than I ever used to.
Tho my exaggerated plumbing
is due, no doubt, to baby's coming
I must retreat more than, off-hand, I'd choose to.
With every well directed thump
ups-a-daisy, I must jump,
day or night there seems to be no lenience;
and thanks to these activities
I've got a path worn to my knees
from me to our home's handiest convenience!

Rueful Reflection

Tho I'll admit
I'm feeling fit
it's time the truth I faced,
there seems to be a lot of me
going to waist!

Mirror Talking

So men are prone
to pass you by
and give you an averted eye,
well, keep serene your worry-plaited brow,
for time this state will rectify,
so cheer up, darling, don't you cry,
remember, you're a big girl now!

Conversation at Dawn

Here now, baby,
stop that kicking,
are you partly kangaroo?
That's my tender side you're sticking,
I don't do like that to you!
Just because my form you're rounding
you don't have to thrash about,
here now, baby, stop that pounding,
mother knows that you want out.
Listen, I've some things to tell you
ere you greet the light of day.
Down the river life will sell you,
hear what mother has to say.
Might as well stop all that knocking,
life's not yours to beck and call,
quiet, darling, mother's talking,
life's a humpty-dumpty wall.
You'd leave your present safety, maybe,
for measles, mumps and whooping cough?
Lie quiet and stop kicking, baby,
you don't know when you're well off!

Be Reasonable

Bye low,
little Baby Bunting,
precious is each new-felt stunt,
but do you have to practice punting
up and down your mother's front?

Growing Difficulty

My baths heretofore
have been simple events,
but with the new bulk now appearing,
I find to accomplish my bathing presents
a technical problem of vast engineering.
I heave and I pull and I turn and I twist,
and stand there uncertainly, dripping,
then carefully balance and—oh, oh, I've missed—
hey, somebody, hurry—I'm slipping!

Song at Seven Months

Of course I feel you
poke and nudge,
but why rush headlong into strife?
Child, just remember nature's judge
has sentenced you nine months to life.
From quarters close and far from starry
I know you'd dearly love to climb,
but, believe me, babe, we'd both be sorry
if you got out before your time!


We're glad to know
you're in there pitching,
never letting interest lag,
on you, child, all bets we're hitching,
here's one game that's in the bag!

The Low-down

Keep on with your hops
and skipping,
carry on your merry pace,
but you must admit you're slipping,
time will put you in your place.
Thump around in high elation,
little inner gadabout,
I have inside information
you will soon be down and out!

Night Song to a Husband

Go ahead, you,
snore and bubble,
dream away, my dormant pal,
little do you know the trouble
churning innards give a gal.
Wheeze on like a razor stropping,
little care you, sleeping soundly,
that I have a windmill flopping
where my stomach swells up roundly.
Come on, stop those roars and rumbles
you, in sweet dreams now indulging,
while a frenzied earthquake tumbles
where my figure is most bulging.
Shelving me with all the martyrs,
while you slumber there alone,
and, ouch! Hey, you, my stars and garters,
at least wake up and help me groan!


I gaze at glamour
gals in ads
with silhouettes, all lithe and lissom,
flanked by fascinated lads
who obviously ache to kiss 'em.
But small the good for me to mope
about the slender lines I covet,
while I look like a mountain slope,
grand, of course, but hard to love it.
So I won't rue my bulging belt
which covers poundage more than thirty;
let them have their figures svelte
as long as you still think I'm purty!

Routine at Eight Months

Don't mind me if
I fume and sputter
just gaze at my distending skin—
sweet smelling shades of cocoa-butter!
That's right, go on and rub it in!

Layette Layout

What else is there
I still must get?
I have blankets, bassinette,
the shirts and robes and necessary wipers.
There is enough in this layette
to cope with him both dry and wet,
especially, what with four dozen diapers!
Of pads I have enough, I hope,
there's powder, boric, oil and soap...
I have more bootees than I'll ever need.
In fact, if I should try to use
just half of these small baby shoes
I'd have to give birth to a centipede!

Admonition at Nine Months

You've changed my erstwhile
slim to wide lines
and awkwardly I groan and grunt—
Child, heed the hollers from the sidelines,
"Down in front, you, down in front!"

Overdue-ing It

Something is completely
out of line—
I'm sure that I have kept track right along—
one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine—
I wonder if I could have counted wrong?

At Too Long Last

Guess you think
you're mighty clever,
all these nine months I've been waiting;
but this can't go on forever,
better stop procrastinating.
Think how badly you have used me,
smug because I can't get at you,
kicked and otherwise abused me,
come on out, you scaredy-cat, you!

No Sign Yet

If I thot you
believed in signs
I'd get me some to hang about
down there within the deep confines
of me, marked "Exit—this way out!"

Old Story

But, are you sure?
Why all the speed?
Of course, I want you always to say when,
but perhaps some soda's all you need,
it's very likely only gas again!

The Fireworks

Let's see, what was
I supposed to do—
I'll get the doctor here in nothing flat. . . .
It's false? Why, Doctor, I'm surprised at you!
You know I wouldn't lie about a thing like that!


Tho in the past
I've been a fool,
please don't hold that agin me,
doctor, I've no doubt that you'll
bring out the best that's in me!

What Every Father Knows

There she goes
with all those strangers,
while they keep me here outside,
sweating as remembered dangers
suddenly are magnified.
Keep calm, so you will be ready ­
Wonder why my knees are weak?
Light a cigarette, now..steady..
it's normal if they moan or shriek.
How long it takes...all time is hazy,
I'll ask the nurse, "Excuse me, Miss ­"
What's that? Say, does she think I'm crazy?
Coffee! At a time like this!

Back and forth and up and down ­
I've walked ten miles in here, I'll bet,
dressed up in this silly gown...
Wonder why my forehead's wet?
Listen..wait..are my ears lying?
Playing tricks on me again,
or is that a baby crying?
Who says this isn't hard on men!
Alone in there away from me,
that I can't help her drives me wild....
God in Heaven, there should be
an easier way to have a child!

Coming Out Song

I really think
you should be scolded,
you with hands so neatly folded,
while you let your mother sweat and strain;
your attitude cuts like a saber,
you let me do all the labor...
I must say, right now you give me a pain!


Get prepared, child
take your pose,
clench your fists and bend them double,
take it from someone who knows,
you're coming headfirst into trouble!

Take A Letter

Address this to my
newest little stranger,
the one that just arrived an hour ago:
Dear Baby, Well, you came thru my first danger
with flying colors. Welcome, here below.
I've tried to fix a place all nice and cozy
for you to stay until you have to learn
that everything about me isn't rosy,
a fact that now, is none of your concern.
You're safely born. That's only the beginning
of grief and dangers that I have in store
but, remember, joy will also have its inning,
one makes you understand the other more.

I'm still a place for people to be glad in,
but I have certain rules you must obey.
I'll be the magic lamp to our Aladdin
but don't forget and rub me the wrong way.
I guess I sound a little gard-boiled, maybe,
to one a wee as you, all cradle-curled,
but if it weren't for you, and others like you, baby,
there'd be no hope for me.
Signed: Yours,
The World.