Men Between Marriages
Men between marriages need midwives.
To stand, hands outstretched
cradling the squalls of our rebellion,
letting them be.
My midwife could catch the eggs
I’d wasted and add them to her cooking.
She could laugh at the promises I made
to keep her.
My midwife peeled from me my oldest skin,
turned by my head from the rows
I’d dug humping twenty years in blinders.
She took my life in her hands and pulled it
from the vortex that was my cherished infancy.
My midwife kissed me,
spat out the blood and taught me
how to please her.
“If I’m having a good time,” she said,
“You’re having a good time.”
She took my head and my hand
and she calmed me.
She resurrected my questions
and buried them again
in a plot of her own digging.
Each time I was born again.
I thought I said thank you,
I said nothing.
And each time I thought she was leaving,
I said, stay.
Until I knew she would stay until I left.
And then I left.