Joanne Monte


The Dark Secret Borne


in a village
soldiers have hunted,
borne behind doors
that have been kicked open
to drain the blood and flesh
of its nutrients, its life,

has left me
in this home of captive breeding,
stripped in the buffer zone of womanhood.

But thinking
that on that day,
I could have also died by a bullet,
I crawled and crawled
away from that house
to the foot of a cypress,

as desperate as one was,
to be left for dead.

____________________


It's borne in that room
where one woman lies
in a marshland of linens, and bedsprings
that poke through the mattress
like stalks of cattail;

borne in a runoff
of placenta and amniotic fluid,
tainting her own milk and blood.

But on that day,
she had taken the infant
from her womb, brushed his head
with fingers as light as feathers,
and snapped it back
like the cattail dies back in autumn
with thousands of seeds
blown to the wind—

thousands more
than deemed too many.

Submitted: Thursday, June 17, 2004
Edited: Saturday, April 16, 2011

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