Tag Archive for 'teen mother'


by Catherine Zickgraf

I’m sure I took a nap when I got home.
I don’t remember the nap, just
the strained stair-climb to my bedroom,
me holding my mother’s wrist, my hand
with IV holes bandaged over.

Stitched at the birth canal,
the cut had relieved such pressure,
but I heard the scalpel
sink in its five-o’clock position.

Nothing hurt like that cut, and blood
was still dripping from the stitches.
The nurse had stocked the room
with smelling-salt pellets
for the next time I passed out
on her bathroom tile.

At the time I believed
the old tale that infant males
don’t feel their circumcisions.
Lies can dull pain, but anesthesia
is better.  So much suffering
caused by doctors and scalpels.

The nurse swished through the door
and reached for him.
It’s time for the circumcision.

We know that’s what the adopting couple
would want.  A fourteen-year-old, of course,
has no right to be a mother.


Catherine Zickgraf quit law school to be a writer.  Let’s hope it pans out.  You can find her blog at http://myspace.com/czickgraf.

Her writing has appeared in the Journal of the American Medical Association, Pank, and Bartleby-Snopes.  She also has work forthcoming in GUD Magazine and A cappella Zoo.

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