Maternity Ward

Kelly Sievers, CRNA

Spring 2005 - Volume 5 Number 2

 

 

When the sister reads Morning Prayer
over the loud speaker – a Psalm about
seeking light in darkness – I bow my head
and wonder if such prayer is ample
for what we do here.
 
I am the one who palpates
bones in women’s backs, listens
as they pray to break open,
end the pain. Don’t move,
I tell them as they sway
with fear. Don’t move, as I slide
thick blunt needles into their backs.
 
In rooms crowded
with fetal monitors, IV poles,
rocking chairs, husbands, mothers,
aunts, and sisters, I say,
Breathe slow now,
my thumb tapping the plunger,
sweat gathering between my breasts,
in the creases behind my knees.
 
When, in early morning darkness,
I hear them count for ten fingers,
ten toes, I celebrate
this strength to come together
and split apart, this fusion
of fear to joy.

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