a literary journal published by the Black Earth Institute dedicated to re-forging the links between art and spirit, earth and society
The odor of betadine still lingers, though no woman
has mounted the stirrups for days, and the walls,
no longer sterile, vibrate with the knells of 18 rounds,
a chiming phone, the vestigial memory of a pulse. I remember
a ricochet of light and blare, mad ducking under gurneys
and desktops, the doctor slumped in the lab, steel tray of fetal
remains mingled with his own. There was a woman, which one?
who offered me someone else’s urine with her forlorn smile
and made-up name, her partner in the waiting room, armed.
Afterwards, we shuttled patients out the back door, bootied
and gowned, baby-blue. I heaved onto a discarded placard:
Smile! Your mom chose life. The sky over the parking lot whirred
with helicopters. Only some of us recognized the blood on the walls.
Bullhorns cleared the area of newsmongers and prophets
of doom, prescient Cassandras biding time, unhurried.
Pamela Wax is the author of Walking the Labyrinth (Main Street Rag, 2022) and the forthcoming chapbook, Starter Mothers (Finishing Line Press). Her poems have received a Best of the Net nomination and awards from Crosswinds Poetry Journal, Paterson Literary Review, Oberon Poetry Magazine and the Robinson Jeffers Tor House, and have been published in literary journals including Barrow Street, Connecticut River Review, Naugatuck River Review, The Poets’ Billow, Pedestal, Tupelo Quarterly, Split Rock Review, Sixfold, and Passengers Journal. Her essays on Judaism, spirituality, and women’s issues have also been published broadly. An ordained rabbi, Pam facilitates online spiritual poetry writing and spiritual journeying workshops from her home in the Northern Berkshires of Massachusetts. She worked as an abortion counselor in the 1980s.