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Joe Reno

Judith Skillman

The Watched Pot It would be cliché to say it never boils. Cliché and blatantly false, for some have seen the ocean in a pot: its foam-waves, the machinery of full moon pulling gull wings into froth. The story goes my mother was alone in hospital—left alone because she wasn’t screaming like the others do when a body comes from between their legs. The cleaning woman swabbed the floor with her mop—a scene of such contentment one would hardly guess my birth imminent. She asked, as if by way of making conversation, Excuse me, would you get the doctor? I think I’m in transition. And, there beneath fluorescent light the cleaning woman put her pail down on the black and white tiled floor, reached over, and helped my mother into a sitting position. My mother cut the cord with a pair of efficient scissors. As for blood, the hardly-any-of-it got wiped up quick, before the doctor had a chance to see anything other than a beaming Madonna, a cherub, and a neat ward.

Cirque, Vol. 7 No. 1  

A Literary Journal for the North Pacific Rim

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