The Hysterectomy

Drab wings touch down to look for sugar water,
to tap the empty feeder
where beneath dry moss and broken twigs some hint
of sweetness lingers,
like a doubt— That summer I was six,
walking with my mother
back from market, when
she doubled over—
Down her leg, on the sidewalk,
streaks darker
than crimson issuing from that place
I knew was secret: papered
like a hive, sticky with cells
bursting their alarms
as she waved and waved to flag
a jeepney down. Later
in the hospital, she smiled,
wan in the sheets, asked for water—
I remember my father and I walked
down to the corner store,
but there was only tepid 7-Up or Coke
which we brought back and offered.


In response to an entry from the Morning Porch.

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