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Women’s Terminal Ward


ISSUE:  Winter 1981

she was walking the two white Spitzes
in the dusk of College Circle
                    three wraiths
  dreaming absently of that female babe
  the chairman forbade that she adopt

she was waltzing into class late
                wobbling
under a giant amaryllis urn
rotating it on the desk  egging it on
lost in its angles
            where to turn?

shelled with cancer
  faded hair sheeting the bellied
pillow   in the veiled ward she wakes
  to her old students
                 glows
                     cherubic

go long! you girls oughtn’t be kissing me

  we kiss her again

I have reaped where I have not sowed. . . .

 (night nurse running her soft legs off elsewhere)
we linger still
        grayly
   amaryllis

a little woozy   the bedpan please

 the white duck shirttail  the lifting hard
and the balding vulva  the shell of daughters
  looms in this fleeing light
this manless ward

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