by K. Marie Bennett


Maybe the doctor thought                              thus when she ordered
the cesarean, cutting in                                   before Nature could bare
her jagged                                                          red-tinged teeth.

We used to say that our                                  world mirrored heaven: As
above, so below, with                                      God over man, and man over
woman, and woman                                       above only those bone-chewing
beasts. Or were we                                           numbered among them?

Now we say that Jesus                                     tore the curtain, opening the temple
to all, bringing close                                       God and man. But I was just
a pregnant woman,                                         my body no temple.
So the curtain went up                                   and behind was torn


Mother once said                                           after surgery,
she counts.                                                      The staples,
the stitches,                                                     the hours,
the inches,                                                       like talents
taken for                                                          ransom.

And my father once                                       tithed a tenth of his toes.
Another number                                            for the rosary
in a prayer                                                       to be whole.

K. MARIE BENNETT writes help documentation for software during the day, and the help documentation of the soul by night (poetry). She lives in the Midwestern U.S. with her husband, son, and Australian cattle dog.

Photo: “Rosary” by Liz West