There’s the office waiting room, mostly women,
some full-bellied, some dewy. There’s a sisterhood
of vaginas sitting there wishing for good checkups. And me,
my parts somewhat disheveled, drought-ridden, hoping
for redemption. There’s the break I took from Pap smears
and speculums, a vacation from feel-ups and downs. After all,
so many years have departed since I’ve bled or suffered with a uterus,
or had even a wisp of a dream to fertilize one of my eggs.
There’s the routine, frontal, rear, wait for the sting. There’s the doctor,
only a female will do! To peer into my worn out walls.
Maybe it’s a party up inside. Maybe it’s a sick day—no streamers
or soft guitar music, no gossip or showing off, just a laid-up womb.
Just a couple of retiring ovaries to greet her latexed fingers.
Everything’s so mixed up down there in the female bush, a crossing of organs,
outspouts and dumping zones, and she’ll enter carefully, unafraid,
a spelunker, explorer of the hidden.
Clothes off, wrapped in a paper gown, I wait for her soft knock.
I’m draped in fluorescence, rich with experience. I’ll ride her stirrups.
I’ll give her my fluids, let her clamp in a speculum.
I’ll watch a ceiling mobile splaying stars and planets into a neon sky.
– Phyllis Klein
“a spelunker, explorer of the hidden.” — love it, Phyllis.
For Ode to Gynecology by Phyllis Klein
It’s always an adventure of language dipping into Phyllis’s poetry and this is no exception, looking inside her “worn out walls” smiling the whole time. She makes this horrible experience a treasure of surprises, sort of a vagina recital.”