Standing at the mirror, my son’s harsh
whine piercing, my daughter’s sharp wail jarring,
I brush my hair, silken, smooth.
I will myself: remember the downy circle
of crown first seen.
But gaping flesh births not just child.
The twisting, blue-black cord
wraps around my neck.
Neck snapped, still do brick-red nipples
offer—marble-cold, my body yields
Wendy Marie Vergoz is the recipient of a Creative Renewal Arts Fellowship from the Arts Council of Indianapolis, an Individual Artist Grant from the Indiana Arts Commission, and a Service Engagement Grant from Indiana Campus Compact. She teaches writing at Marian University in Indianapolis and a writing workshop at the Unleavened Bread Cafe for women survivors of incarceration, domestic violence, and addiction. She is the editor of two books: The Unleavened Bread Cafe: Twenty Years of Living Water and Voices Unlocked: Soulful Stories from 30th and Central. Her full-length poetry manuscript, The Unbinding, is under consideration. Her poems are forthcoming in Mothers Always Write, and they have been published in Cleaver Magazine, Flying Island Journal, Ground, The Christian Century, Literary Mama, and Anglican Theological Review. They have appeared in exhibitions at the Harrison Center for the Arts, “Spirit and Place,” “Art of the Moving Image & Spoken Word,” “Wrestling with the Infinite,” and “Religion, Spirituality and the Arts.”