Michelle Bonczek published two poems in The Fertile Source which explore the female body, marriage, divorce, and the longing for children.
Written from the first-person perspective, both poems exhibit characteristics typical of the confessional mode, including the disclosure of personal information and a focus on relationships and the body. Whereas "The Courtyard" is composed in free verse, "To the Unfertilized Eggs in My Ovaries" is a prose poem. The images in both poems are striking in their intimacy, the statements startling in their admissions. As with any confessional work, the exposure of such details produces surprise and discomfort simultaneously. In "The Courtyard," Bonczek writes that the "fried cheese and onions remind me / of my husband's breath" and in the basement wet clothes fill the air with their "stink." The sense of smell is engaged to emphasize the displeasure and disagreements in the household and the marriage alike, revelations that the voice intimates to the reader directly, "Once, we crossed a threshold: / he said I hate you and I knew I would never / let him take it back."
In "To the Unfertilized Eggs," the voice is equally as intimate and together with images of medical procedures that invade the speaker's body seem to comment self-consciously on the poem's own mode of confessionalism. For just as doctors go "exploring with their metal spears and cotton swabs, their big eyes in search of the possible something causing havoc in an empty womb," so does the reader enter the poem that enters the speaker's thoughts and imagination. Together the two poems create a portrait of a woman in 21st- century America dealing with issues common to her time and gender. In The Fertile Source, the two poems are accompanied by an interview with the poet who shares her wisdom, perspectives, and experiences of writing and teaching poetry while also speaking openly about her past and current romantic relationships and her desire for a family.