Tag Archives: Women

The Mammogram

Take everything off down to your waist please
Put on this gown with open side to the front
When you are ready we can get started
How’s the weather? Is it still snowing?
Only a minute to get the films ready
Let’s do the right first, lay it up here,
Relax your shoulder, a step forward
Head back, some pressure, one sec
Hold your breath, relax while I
Check the view, Ok, now left side
Same thing, lean in, little more now
She doesn’t remember me, last year
Needed more views, dense breast tissue
Doesn’t mean anything, this happens a lot
She has said, and done this thousands of times
Does her voice change with a view of bad news
Does she see it, often before the radiologist
The news we all fear while we both stare
No movement, small talk distracting us
I wait, in a one-sided hug while intimate
Photos of me appear across her screen
You can wait out there, over to the left
The radiologist reads them right away
I think of all the others before me
All the women she has seen, heard
News of a journey to wait in the next room
While the doctor comes down to talk to her
Was there someone she wanted to call first
Another woman, older, appears to be reading
From a Kindle, I politely pretend to watch the tv,
My x-ray tech is back telling me they are clear and I
Can change back into my clothes, then I am free to go

The Petitions

This poem symbolizes for me the painful battle that human beings absolutely need to resolve within our own hearts and as a world community if girls are to have the opportunity to be considered equal partners in every culture. I don’t think equality will ever happen for any of us if we are viewed through a sexual prism used to dominate. This poem was written to honor the girls and women written about in a startling book titled, Half the Sky which was also a documentary on PBS. The gang rape in India, and its necessary newsworthiness will hopefully be a tipping point to help in this movement for equality. That girl riding a bus…it should break everyone’s heart to action when they hear that story. It would be lovely if the only struggle remaining for all women was how to break the glass ceiling.

The petition read
Worst place to be a woman
Funny, my mind cannot
Narrow down one place
Where that would be

Raped by six men
On a bus no less
As if private rape
Isn’t awful enough
Hate violated this girl to death

No doctor would treat her
While Hippocrates absent
At the unsuccessful labor
Of her third baby at 23
Poverty dictated this girl to death

A dirty unskilled scalpel
To mutilate her desire
For what she had never known
Her mother holding her hand
Ignorance bled this girl to death

The hands of her father
In fervent obedience to
One dogma which veiled
Her to a silence she couldn’t keep
Religion beat this girl to death

Strangers, one by one
Getting what they paid
To have, the look of virginity
Her blood carrying a virus
Desire giving this girl to death

So many places, too many girls
Never to be women
Our silence puts another
To death every minute
And all I do is sign
Another petition