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Wednesday, June 29, 2022


by Sarah Brown Weitzman

Under a morning sky like curdled milk in a blue bowl
my childless friend of 40 years confesses to a 1953 abortion.
She was fifteen.  She was a virgin.  She had been beaten.
into submission.  She had been raped.  She gave
$100. to an elderly Carribean woman who laid her
hips on a rough, grayed towel, spread her knees apart
to stuff a narrow rubber hose cut from an enema bag
and stiffened with a copper strip up into her womb,
packed the cavity with wads of cotton, all tied together
by a string like a tampon.  “Tomorrow pull the string
and everything will come out.”  Three bright drops of blood
on the towel, the color of induced labor hours later.
The wall of her womb pierced.  Peritonitis. Hospital.
Penicillin.  Police.  But she was free of that unwanted child
or any child she could never have now.   Her nipples oozed
droplets of sour milk staining her bras for weeks after.

Sarah Brown Weitzman was a past National Endowment for the Arts Fellow in Poetry and twice nominated for the Pushcart Poetry Prize.  A finalist for the Academy of American Poets First Book Award contest and the Foley Prize, Sarah has had poems published in hundreds of journals and anthologies including North American Review, Rattle, New Ohio Review,  Mid-American Review, Poet Lore, Potomac Review, Miramar, The American Journal of Poetry, Alaska Quarterly Review, and elsewhere. Her fifth book Amorotica was published during the pandemic by Main Street Rag.