J. A Hamilton, Body Rain (Toronto: Brick Books, 1991): 74.
2he said. Count
3backward from one hundred.
4Ninety-nine, you said. Ninety-eight.
5Your ribs did not part on command.
6The skin was sliced
7and blood spurted, your
8breasts slid under your armpits, your
9nipples kissed the steel. Your ribs.
10The bones of a ridiculed ark
11were exposed. The rib-
16Your cornered heart huddled.
17 (Mother oh mother your children
18 rose with the dust of your lungs.
19 Your wedding day rose and your parents
20 locked in embrace.)
21In the doctor's palm arteries fluttered
22flying up from the nest of your thigh,
1] Bypass: a heart operation that relieves the pain of angina, and the threat of a heart attack, by grafting, to blocked or damaged coronary arteries,arteries or veins from other parts of the body. To get to the heart, surgeons often have to saw openand separate the sternum. Back to Line
RPO poem Editors
© Jane Eaton Hamilton, from whom permission to republish must be obtained in writing.