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Poetry and Medicine
May 9, 2001

Finding the Os

JAMA. 2001;285(18):2296. doi:10.1001/jama.285.18.2296

is the toughest part
as it often gets lost,
or hides in darkness
like a hand in a pocket.
When I catch it I'll see
a pink eyelet squinting back at me.
Of course, I know it's nothing more
than an opening, a birthing door,
tiny, like the knuckle of a thumb.
And yet mysterious, a conundrum—
how the whole earth depends upon
the os, mouth of the womb,
essential as vessels that go to the brain,
or the vas, open and vast,
the middle of a flower in bloom.
I find it odd that owners don't know
its terrain,
(it's a smooth stone in a corner
with a door to the uterus)
or how it angles toward us,
arches upside down
like a climber clinging
to a cliff.
It is shy as a winter moon.
But if
it emerges into view
then it springs
up like a pink balloon,
as if God
or the child waiting deep inside
finger by finger,
its string.

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