Wedding Gown

so long since someone
has tried to put a sock upon my foot
I am a very diminished Cinderella

the stiff hinge of ankle troubles the nurse
nails scratching lightly, quasi-erotic
blending with the memory of buying new school shoes
Red Robin knee hi’s and the stiff boat of
leather promise for young tyros
coupled with the touch of a stranger

as a matter of formality for all women in my position

(royal queen impossible princess another waiting room
magazine lady in waiting)

they test to see if I am pregnant
which, because no one tells me otherwise
I must assume I am not

so long since someone has tried
to put a sock upon my foot
I am a very diminished Cinderella

lying corpse straight in my backless gown
sheets tight across the chest as if awaiting my Nanna
to kiss me goodnight with wet cool lips
leaving the door open just a crack
they bring me more warm blankets and check my name
who are you? tell me who you are –

I am a patient with no religion
I am a very diminished Cinderella
since someone has tried
to put a sock upon my foot so long

a floating head navigates me to a room
with smudgy handprints on the ceiling
some tradesman unaware of the assembly line audience
while I apply the advice of a friend
to hear only the Benny Hill soundtrack
in moments of great fear

the legs up up away the speculative speculum
the cold of this or that against this or that
anonymous exposed flesh chilling in the sterile air
the anesthetist is called Maggie
the powerboard is called Rita
this third needle might set your heart racing

you’re doing very well

for the second split, everything distils
accelerates into the sweet, exquisite tidal surge
of shock, the urge to laugh,
not even the wherewithal to cry
luscious contrast
the incompetent cervix vs clinical care
the nincompoop ovaries
standard procedures
fallopian tubes entirely unqualified
refrain from following
the bobble hat policeman chases a wayward nurse
I am a nameless bullet of pain

since a very someone has tried
to put a foot sock
so long diminished Cinderlla
my – I am

all done now

Categorized as musing

By Eleanor Jackson

Eleanor Jackson is a Filipino Australian poet, performer, arts producer, cyclist, writer, gal about town, feminist, freewheeler, and friend.

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