Wendy Waits

Wendy’s chest aches, waiting.

Death’s hungry lips
no longer suckles her bosom
or paws at her womb.

The breast pump, dried and disused, still
sits in the unopened box, wrapped in plastic
dust coats the empty cup.
An inconvenient reminder of
a miscarried life
a stillborn future trapped
in never was and never will be.

A perfect crescent moon incision
crosses her heart, broken once,
traces love’s wane
her deflated chest rises
under her blouse
breaks promises of never, never land.

Now she fears a man’s touch
trembles and withers
drape of hair drawn closed to hide her vanity.
Her eyes lock on shoes
feet always scraping dirt
she notes the scuff marks
the thin crack in black and white tile.

The waiting room full today
she demands invisibility, anonymity
hides her skeleton
under a magic cloak
formed from a baggy sweater and
a glossy magazine lie
held up in the light.

Scars of lost motherhood covers
her femininity, her identity, her self-image
pushes up the Kleenex
where phantoms fill her bra
freed of might’ve beens
surgically strip mined, chemically reduced,
irradiated, until her nipples glowed
all for one more gasp of life;
but the milk of hope pores from her wound
sloshes at the corners of her eyes
makes a raccoon out of her.

She holds herself tight, loves herself, prays,
rubs her womb counterclockwise
tries not to spill her stomach
on the red pumps of the pregnant girl next to her.
She can’t give any more of herself,
she’s sacrificed her soul for life.

When her number’s called
she shuffles into an examination room,
bare, antiseptic
smell of bad news sticks to the floor.

She sits on the table
recoils from stainless steel flowers
stuck in a sterile vase
waits another twenty minutes
she can’t spare for a man.

When the doctor appears
she rubs her fingers raw, waiting.

He whistles and smiles
runs cold petals along her skin
until she trembles
from the first human contact in months,
and then he tells her the good news,
She’ll live,
but she refuses to believe it.
A half-life is no life at all.

~ Rob K. Omura

Rob K. Omura lives in Calgary, Alberta, Canada where he practices law. He is active in education, law reform, the environment and the outdoors. His fiction and poetry appears or is forthcoming in The Arabesques Review, Barnstorm, The Rose and Thorn, Agency Magazine, 34th Parallel, Poems Niederngasse, edifice WRECKED, Denver Syntax, Mississippi Crow, Noneuclidean Cafe, blue skies poetry, Writing the Land Anthology, Brink, Outercast, and Paradigm. He is currently working on a novel, but that’s slow going at best.

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