Blackbirdan online journal of literature and the artsSpring 2012 v11n1
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No Midwives Can Do What Angels Can
     —Cotton Mather

Wicked are her knuckles beating at your door. She sniffs out
your broken water she summons a monster come tremoring

from your womb, she rides to your door on her broomstick yes
she does. You are alone in the room. This is the inquisition

without a question. The fire burns until the stake is
whittled to a needle. Until the tongues are stilled. Shut your

ears to the knuckles’ crack, you are not alone with the baby
coming. The dust now quickening at your skirts marks the Angels’

coming to your attendance. Sweet perfume of feather, twist
of luminous gold. Take your place in the lap of Angels

which is your birth chair. When the time draws nigh, God
billows forth His apron to catch the baby easy

as an apple from the tree. If we do nothing effectually alone,
then you are not alone. The winged choir

to resound the Word of God. Blessed be
the women swinging from the gallows, the crook

in their necks which saves you. God gives only a perfect child
into your arms. The baby kicks. The baby cries.  

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