No Pity

byCheryl Savageau
  .   .   .   for Awiakta

At breakfast I am rock hard with milk
and the child, eight days out of my body,
and full of his own life, is hungry. I cup my hand
under my breast, to guide it to the searching mouth
and milk sprays out over the breakfast table.

I am laughing out loud at the wonder of it
I am Hera spraying stars across the sky
I am Selu running her hands up her belly,
coaxing waterfalls of corn from her breasts,
filling baskets

But he is not laughing, this young man
I call husband. He pushes
his plate away, unable to eat. I have
put him off his breakfast, he says, I am
vulgar, low class, dirty. I am raining
blood and milk, the life of his son,
when he tells me, women are disgusting,
they're always dripping
from somewhere.

The marriage ends here,
although he doesn't know it yet,
and continues his pronouncements
for another year or more, Women are clever
but not intelligent, he says, emotional
but not passionate. He is outside
and afraid, and I have
no pity.

© 1997 Cheryl Savageau

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