Alone she lies exposed
Thin gown hiked up swollen waist
Legs open like a turkey waiting to be sliced
Loving voyeurs with snap shot flashes
Make ooing sounds as if watching some
The pain crescendoes until violins
Scream in her ears.
Bearing down she marvels at strippers able to
smoke cigarettes from this part of their body
Flushing the head is crowned
Knife flashes quick its thorny blade
Wet waxy perfection placed in her arms
The only pain now the gentle pulling of the needle
She memorizes each detail
This more reverent than communion.
Drunk with the fullness of this moment
Could she have misunderstood the words coming
from Doctor lips?
Glib knowing words to husband pull bones from
The last suture closing the gaping cavern
"This last stitch is for you."
Pamela Hartsock writes with and teaches language arts to seventh graders. Besides writing and reading, she plays flute in a local symphony, teaches chorus, and is a parent (her greatest joy and challenge). Her poem began as a "painful" memory and developed into a poem after festering for 15 years.
© 1997 The Women in Literature and Life Assembly of the National Council of Teachers of English (ISSN #1065-9080). Permission is given to copy any article provided credit is given and the copies are not intended for resale.
Reference Citation: Hartsock, Pamela E. (1997). "Violation Crude." WILLA, Volume VI, p. 17.