Three for Carol Tyler
by LAURA JENT
FINALIST for the 2011 46er Prize
Let's talk about hospital blankets.
I could draw you one but it's just a blank page until
something else happens.
I love a little girl with too many names. She
is not "mine" the way other parents say it.
When my heart balked (the muscle, not the fictive thing
that houses love) at giving my veins blood,
she kept kicking at a lung. Her own heartbeat,
machined for my benefit and for the white coats,
seemed to me as I slipped in and out of this world:
happy, and so, I slipped away from her and happiness
but somehow returned.
Let's not call it a wound anymore, the place
they pulled my baby from my body before anyone breathed.
Sure, it is scarred, and angry, and some days
it says it owns the rest of me and so maybe
the wound is my own parents, come to rest
their gray heads on my belly and cry. It is a fleshy frown,
the face of my people, beaten and down, but still
pink-lipped, still breathing. How do you shave
the faces of your ancestors who are dead?
LAURA JENT, 33, lives and writes in Durham, NC. Her work has been published in The Independent Weekly, ISM Magazine, and online at lodestarquarterly.com. In her time, none of which seems "spare", she mothers one, studies psychology, and does her best impersonation of a worker bee..