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Winter/Spring 2019

Blood Letting


by Kathryn Jordan


I dreamt of my poem, but rather than words,
squiggly lines and opaque shapes.
I stumbled through reading, asked my teacher
to help me say the sounds
and ideas behind the symbols.

I open a book, read: Without blood, there is no remission.
“What is blood?” I ask. “Blood is suffering,”
they answer. Living pain that pools in my feet
til my arches ache and swell, a cripple creek.
Astronomers say gravity is the engine of the Universe;
I’m flooded with resistance.

Is blood letting us learn?

My daughter can’t or won’t feed herself.
Stand by in faith that two eggs might one day
become an omelet? Her adrenals are shot,
there’s panic in her blood. How simple
if blood could speak and tell us what to do.

My own child, fragrant, smooth,
untouched by hurting hands.
Was this the language I didn’t know?


[Check out Kathryn Jordan’s back porch advice]
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