Sunday, June 7, 2015

The Sound of Sugar....Liz Kay

Midwife—The Witch Dabbles in Healing

The boy came on a summer morn, shouldered
his bloody way out while the woman groaned like a cow.
He nearly fell into my hands, sticky, still warm
from the womb. I pressed him to his mother’s breast
to shush his cries. All the while, the blood swelled
out of her, as from an animal cut clean. Her hand
at the child’s head grew languid and dropped
to the bed, and the infant lost his grip, slipped
into her limp arm, squalling at the nipple beyond.

I brewed a tea heavy with ergot and oak bark, spooned
it through her lips, but still she bled. I knew some piece
of the caul must have stuck fast inside her.
I scraped it free with my fingers, massaged
her belly till I felt it start to tighten, fed her what I could
of the afterbirth until she roused enough to spit it out.
Awake finally, she wept over the child, put him back
on her breast. I gave her stew made of lamb
and when they had both eaten and she slept, I took
the boy from her arms and breathed him in, memorized
his scent. Hansel, she mumbled from her dream. I turned
my back to her and licked him clean.

About the Poet:
A founding editor of Spark Wheel Press and the journal burntdistrict, Liz Kay holds an MFA from the University of Nebraska, where she was the recipient of both an Academy of American Poets Prize and the Wendy Fort Foundation Prize for exemplary work in poetry. In 2008, she was awarded a Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Prize for excellence in lyric poetry. Her poems have appeared in such journals as Beloit Poetry Journal, RHINO, Nimrod, Willow Springs, The New York Quarterly, Iron Horse Literary Review, Redactions, and Sugar House Review.

About the Sound of Sugar:
We’ve loved reading the work that we’ve published (clearly), so now we want an opportunity to better hear our contributors. We will feature an audio recording of a poem from one of our seven issues, read by the poet and updated every couple of weeks. This an open invitation to all contributors
from any of our issues, we were delighted to print your work, now we’re eager to hear it.