A fetus in every garage [Carolee Bennett]

Instead of the automobile, America’s in love now with the fetus.
A new evidence-based government program supporting fetus
cultivation includes provisions for industrialized farming of the fetus.
To secure enough of a crop, farmers who decide to plant fetus
seeds in straight rows over at least nine acres will qualify for fetus
management grants. The casual grower, who tends to potted fetus
plants on a patio or fire escape, does not qualify for these fetus
entitlement funds. However, those with certain types of backyard fetus
gardens may petition the government for stipends under the Fetus
Homestead Act. Please note the application requires explicit fetus
biodiversity criteria to be met for the purpose of ensuring the fetus
will not be vulnerable to disease. Otherwise, all facilities for fetus
generation must comply fully with uniformity guidelines for the fetus.
These are in place (and will be enforced) to produce the exact fetus
consumers have come to expect with regard to taste, texture, fetus
hue, sex, and political affiliation. Documents verifying that every fetus
conforms to these stipulations must be made available to official fetus
inspectors upon request. If these agents discover onsite any fetus
that is transgender, for example, or a batch in which the fetus
falls outside the regulated palette, they are authorized to halt fetus
production immediately. Be aware, also, that playing music for the fetus
is not a science-based practice. Penalties may apply to this fetus
and any that enter the system without proper vetting. Registered Fetus
Watchers or others with information about violations to the fetus
code should alert authorities by calling our Tip Line. Each mature fetus
must be labeled with a sell-by date and packaged in a proper fetus
container. (We manufacture cartons for this specific purpose.) Fetus
program forms are available online and must be submitted by the fetus
deadline each quarter to receive credit for harvesting your fetus.
Incomplete paperwork will result in no payment for the fetus.


Carolee Bennett is an artist and poet living in Upstate New York, where—after a local, annual poetry competition—she has fun saying she has been the “almost” poet laureate of Smitty’s Tavern. She has an MFA in creative writing (poetry), works full-time as a writer in social media marketing and blogs at Good Universe Next Door.

Inspiration: In thinking about Sarah Freligh’s mention of the sestina on Facebook, I started to play with the banned words. As “fetus” landed at the end of the line, I decided to see what would happen if “fetus” sat at the end of each line. It got scary fast, as did everything since the 2016 election. This whole project seems inevitable in that terrifying light.


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