Wednesday, 17 April 2019

At the Ob/Gyn

by Betsy Mars

The doctor spreads a thin layer of conductive gel
on the moon-shaped surface of my pregnant skin.
The ultrasound wand passes over and detects a beat -
the faint first pulse of my new-formed boy –
the reality of a body within my body finally sinking in.

Across the street, my mother lies in intensive care,
paralyzed from an attempt to remove a tumor from her brain;

I encouraged the surgery. She might never walk again.
The doctor reads my tears as joy
and I couldn't say whether he's right or wrong.
It's true we're only flies to wanton gods -
we lay our eggs, create a buzz, and then we're gone.

* * * * *

"At the Ob/Gyn" is from Betsy Mars's new chapbook Alinea.

Betsy Mars is a poet and educator who was born in Connecticut and moved several times before settling in the LA area. She spent two formative years in Brazil where she attended kindergarten, retaining the Portuguese words for cat, dog, and come here.
Her father was a professor and her mother was a social worker, and together they gave her an early appreciation for language and social justice, as well as an overly developed tendency toward introspection.
She has a bachelor’s and master’s degree from USC which she puts to no obvious use. A mother, avid traveler, and animal lover, her work has recently appeared in The Rise Up Review, Writing in A Woman’s Voice, and The Ekphrastic Review, as well as in a number of anthologies, and the California Quarterly. Her first chapbook, entitled Alinea, is available through Amazon or directly from the author at