“Wandering Womb” by Ayelet Amittay

Ayelet Amittay


Ancient texts named
hysteria the source
of bodily ills. The womb
an animal inside
an animal. The littlest
Irwin has been studying
animals again,
this time her own. Cells
migrating from the uterus
like a great flamingo flock
through the tissues. Blood
fattening the growth. The pain
like a great cry,
or singing. Let us speak
of blood, of the wringing out
of the lining that fed
each one of us. Don’t you
know how a woman
pours herself
like a jug of wine? I mean
each of us
an enchantress
pulling ourselves through
the sleeve of ourselves
in our own birth.

from Poets Respond
March 13, 2023


Ayelet Amittay: “I was moved by this article on Bindi Irwin’s struggle with endometriosis. As a nurse practitioner I work with many patients who have this condition, which is rendered invisible by society’s refusal to talk about periods and other ways women’s health affects us all. I wrote this poem as a testament to those patients, including Bindi Irwin.” (web)

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