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A Quarterly Journal
Jeffrey Woodward, Founder & Owner
Ray Rasmussen, General Editor

Volume 12, Number 4, December 2018
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Doris Lynch
Bloomington, Indiana, USA


Second Delivery

“Remember, there are two deliveries,” the midwife tells us after the giddy miraculous rush of our firstborn’s arrival. “First the baby, then the placenta. In a few minutes, you’ll feel the urge to push again.”

Ten minutes later, I’m back to grunting and pressing down hard. Something large and viscous plops into the metal bowl. As she carefully runs her gloved hands over and around it, Mrs. Roper reminds us we can take it home and cook it into a restorative stew. “A gumbo of nutrients,” she says in her rich bayou accent. “Or y’all leave it here and I’ll plant it in my garden, along with a rose bush in your daughter’s name.”

A year later in our Volkswagen bug, we bounce down a Marrero oyster-shell lane. Stop before Mrs. Roper’s double shotgun house. There on the right next to a phalanx of various colored rose bushes, a yellow one — smaller than the rest — pushes into the sunlight. Gaily, it sports many blossoms. “There’s Kristen,” I yell. “All yellow and bright.”

nursing at dawn
each mockingbird song
sounds new

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