Color Therapy at the OB-GYN

The waiting room is resolutely purple.
The plum-upholstered chairs are comfortable
as an airport lounge; flecks of grape pepper
the rug. I blench at the lilac walls.
On one mahogany table squats an ugly plant Ė
each flower looks like the split head
of a red cabbage. I think itís fake.

I think a man decided this color
soothed anxious females,
of whom I see plenty: a long-legged teen
with a blotchy face, a thirty-five-year-old
in a gray suit who keeps checking
the clock. Another woman grimaces
at a squalling infant,
which is not the baby
the magazines promised her.

The room should be womb-red,
the color of the sticky cry
we mop up monthly.
After each child I bled
for weeks; it was an honest wound,
the angry hue of that newbornís mouth.

This time, I am expecting
the violation of the gown,
which flaps open at the front;
I know how my heels will part
into those padded stirrups
so unlike a loverís cupped hands,
but I always forget how it feels
when the cold speculum steals inside
me, permitting the antiseptic
scrape of my scarlet wall; how, later
my husband, eager to take me
to dinner, will tap his foot while I steam
in a shower, never long or hot enough.

Previously appeared in Apple Valley Review

Index Of Published Poems