Poetry Issue 15

   Issue #15 : July-December 2011

Kerin Sulock



from Occupations


      The Midwife


      I arrive rushed over beige carpets.
      It’s sometimes late.
      Often there is a meeting of hands, but
      more often, there is a wiping of brows.
      I ask for water.
      If there is a chair, it’s mine
      until the ordeal is over.

      My first time, the mother wept.
      Didn’t yell. Wept.
      She wanted to see the infant’s head.
      She wanted to know it was someone and not something
      doing this to her and so she cried
      until he showed himself to us.
      Until he let us know that he was dissatisfied because
      we were touching him.

      Others want to be touched.
      I’ll stay in the new rocker until the scene calms
      and there is a breathing among them,
      which I can leave unattended.

      Afterwards, I like to go to the diner.
      I like to have a cup.
      The waitresses there know I need my time
      and they give it to me, bringing me courses
      while others wait.

      I sit until the plates cool.
      I make a notation about this day’s birth
      and then I eat, returning the fork to the place
      where I found it.