we sit on opposite sides of the waiting room
clutching our middle years
in our hands,
comparing stories of raising boys
they never seem to stop eating
from the minute they leave our bodies
so much life fills their skin.
we have given them everything that we have and more, and
perhaps because we are a hospital gown away
from being completely naked with each other,
we also speak
of the things that they might find
within our walls, and
how we hope
because we have sons to feed, and
we are hungry
in their lives, and
we smile and we laugh
in the shadow of the thing
that has a name
but doesn’t have ours,
like all the women before us,
we walk barefoot here
in the valley, and
we all lose our shoes when we walk this road,
it doesn’t matter what your name is,
in this place,
we all fear the same, and
we follow the nurse to the room where they will tell us
for a moment
you turn away
and i see it in your eyes.
later when i walk out of recovery
orange juice still sweet on my tongue,
i carry words in my hands
words that do not chase
you are in the cubicle next to me
the borders that i have just left
i never want to return to this place, and
i see you
into the shape of a foetus,
under the weight of the extra peace they pumped into your veins,
statistics say that it had to be one of us
the odds took more from you
than from me, and
i hope that you find the courage to chase away the
dogs of fear.
© Liezel Graham 2019.
recently i had my ‘future’ told by a medical team.
i was the fortunate one who walked out with hope in my hands.
Photograph by Leo Cardelli.