Thursday, 9 April 2009

Bath Day

Bath Day

Strange how the morning

you spend a lifetime trying to forget

is the one you want most

to remember.


Stranger still,

how joy can be rinsed

from a moment set apart

for laughter,

leaving the memory frayed

like a threadbare rag.


Morning at the ward.

Women coo-calm infants

fresh from the womb.

Nurses, heavy of hip, roll round beds

with padded hands.

All morning the mantra: breast is best.

All morning they latch open mouth

to swollen breast.


I am in awe of the worm

I spewed that morning,

I watch it squirm

at the unrest of our world.

It jolts at every whimper,

jumps at every whine.

I wish I could swallow it,

save it from earthly rustlings.


By afternoon,

incessant cry and tear-glazed eye

tell me my august visitor

is a task master.

He who must be fed like a seed,

he whose bottom must be wiped,

whose suckling cuts my nipple

and makes me bleed.


Mid afternoon,

the bathroom is free

for me to wash away the shame of birth

‘Clean up for Daddy!’ a nurse teases.

That word rattles a silenced bell clapper.

My insides ring.

I kiss Augustus and bolt

the door behind me.


God! How the silence of the tiny room asserts itself.

The echoes flush me to the drain

but I stand firm. One and whole.

Then, quite unexpectedly,

pain seeps from every pore.

Yowl begets wail begets howl

for wounds that will never scab,

for the abscess of afterbirth.


The Bookaholic said...

Well, I came; I saw; I read and enjoyed what I read!

Artsville said...

Fantastic. I am so happy to rediscover you. used to love your poems(still do) many years ago when I was in U. I. Then I couldn't find you anymore, so happy to be able to read them here.
I remember one, something about a woman's place in the kitchen and her husband or so complaining her fingers were talons and something abt scalpels as well. And another titled so all the while i was sitting on an egg. I am so excited. I read them so long ago but they stuck. All the best Lola.

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upfromsumdirt said...

beautiful work!