Autumn Sky Poetry . . . Number 6 . . .

Clinic

I pray for my two sons, send angels down to guide them.

awake, 2 am: I worry the high fever
won’t go down (my youngest)
worry the girlfriend will make him depressed
. . . again (my oldest)

unborn I will never know:
when I was 17,
the father asked me to marry him:
older, took me to heaven as I lay under the stars,
made me gasp with pleasure,
more

he was fear, I didn’t know it
until the recovery room,
green vinyl recliners,
clinic across from the church
took the fetus, sucked it into silence.

another, I was 27, sibling for my oldest
God forgive me
I couldn’t stay with the father,
my mind asleep before they positioned
my legs in cold stirrups
for the dead

I woke, my head bobbing uncontrollably,
Dixie cup of orange juice
gently placed in my hand,
clinic across from the church
took the fetus, sucked it into silence.

a third, when I was 32,
my heart scraped against the father’s reaction:
I saw him cry a first time—
he was love, un-judging.

awake, 3 am: I remember when my
youngest was born, saw his father
cry a second time: tears for life,
the undertow of recall,

a cold sweat constricts my silence,
clinic aligned hillside
ceaselessly in my thoughts.

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Theresa Edwards

Theresa Edwards lives in the United States. She is married, has two sons, and is an adjunct instructor and tutor at Marist College, Poughkeepsie, New York. Her poetry has appeared in Clean Sheets Magazine, Flutter Poetry Journal, SOFTBLOW, SNReview, Pitkin Review, Chronogram, and is forthcoming in Blackmail Press, Boxcar Poetry Review, Admit Two, and Pitkin Review's spring 2007 issue.

She has written musical compositions, including work for mixed media, a novella, The Ride, and a poetry manuscript entitled Voices Through Skin. Theresa has an MA in English and will soon complete an MFA in Creative Writing (poetry) from Goddard College. She is the recipient of a fall 2006 Research Faculty Development Grant for Part-Time Faculty from Marist College, and is poetry editor for Quay.

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© 2007 Theresa Edwards