I’m on the phone with the sixth nurse, newly discharged.
The past weeks witnessed frantic dispatches for aid via email and helpline,
while the whoosh and suck of the electric pump
Coaxes Canaan’s bounty from my damaged right breast.
My son lays in his father’s arms,
And greedily receives sustenance that my body cannot provide.
Our circle is broken, and I mourn the unnatural rift in this natural process.
Each greeting begins: “Congratulations, momma!”
and ends with, “…enjoy your precious babe,”
and my body’s screams for healing
Drown in twee wishes and sentiment.
Who advocates for the vessel
once she bears her cargo into a new world?
Who mends her battered hull while the sun shines
on the shiny, pink thing, squalling like the storm
they weathered together on the open sea?
I, and I alone, trace the lines of the stitch
That binds me to myself
looking to fix severed connections
Like a ranch hand mends a Texas fence.
I received your message:
Mothers are warriors, heroes, saints
Aloft on a pedestal of words,
A pedestal erected in lieu
of the support withheld.
I am the means to an end.