Hollowed Spaces

Hollowed Spaces

 

“Because if you weren’t an Aunt or a Martha, said Aunt Vidala, what earthly use were you if you didn’t have a baby?” – Margaret Atwood in The Testaments: The Sequel to The Handmaid’s Tale)

 

The word womb.

The speakers of Old English used the word for belly, bowels, heart, uterus.

Isn’t it amazing that it uses all forms of the word carry?

It holds like a bowl 

like the barrel of a gun

like Hermes.

 

My last ultrasound was quiet, hollow, void

as it should have been.

The only thing that I would have born 

would have been parasitic and violent,

 

But the quiet still gutted me.

There is something solemn about an empty womb.

To see it hallowed like a sanctuary, or

hollowed out like a cave

An echoing image of what could be –for better or worse–

another life. 

 

Sobriety occurs when I have a sneaking suspicion

That the gods aborted all of my babies for me. 

Do I say thank you or scream until there’s a cave-in?

Baptism

Baptism

 

As a sucker for symbolism,

I was baptized in elementary school.

 

I’d witnessed plenty of baptisms in 

baptismal pools

Ponds

Metal wash tubs in store-front churches.

None of them were like mine.

My father – not a pastor – prayed for me and dipped me in our family bathtub.

 

Usually, robed men lift their hands to God 

Debate whether to say Jesus or Father Son Holy Ghost

Debate whether to sprinkle, dip, dunk, or drown

Some say everything.

Some do everything.

But nobody being baptized really cares what they say at all.

 

The men mumble on

while you, draped in white,

contemplate how your life will change after this moment.

How after your body makes contact with this water

you will do life right 

this time.

This time is new.

And doesn’t everyone deserve a moment such as this –

A moment when water floods the ears

A moment of shocking cold that palpitates the heart

A moment of weightless abandon to 

Hope

That you can finally be new

And clean

And right

And holy.

Hope is a holy thing that must be watered.

Where to Begin

Hello Good People,

I’ve never done anything like this in my life. I write in fits and starts and am a creative who is often at war with herself.  Hopefully, this exercise flips a switch in productivity and dampens the angst.
The part of this journey that is most exciting is getting to discover, reimagine, and rethink the world around me. This virtual fellowship of the poets is a great gift.
It’s about to go down! Happy writing to all.

Sincerely,

Natalie from Kentucky