Ode to the Uterus

They call it

A woman’s coin purse
Buried away like an afterthought
In the folds of her body.

But hers is a feral little thing
Throwing away angry outbursts
With the tide of each moon.

It scoffs at being
Belittled and unused
Writing her opinion in bloody letters.

I have seen it
Grown to its full power like
Mt. St. Helens erupting from her slumber,

Joan of Arc exchanging her skirts,
Magwayen risen from the sea,
Carrying life within its muscular chamber.

We hoisted it, almighty pink and shining
As it spat out a child and boomed,
“Do not underestimate me!”

So we hurriedly sewed it back together,
Already shrinking
And going back to sleep.

Originally from Jersey City, NJ, Riana B. Jumamil is a third-year medical student at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, in the Bronx. Much of her inspiration comes from her experiences with patients on clinical clerkships; this has led her to choose to pursue a career in internal medicine.

About the Poem

“I wrote this poem after witnessing my first cesarean section during my ob/gyn rotation. I was so nervous during the procedure and didn’t know what to expect. When the incision was made, revealing the uterus and eventually the baby, my jaw dropped in awe behind my mask. Although the sight was commonplace to the attending physicians and midwives in the room, I felt a deep appreciation for the human body’s capabilities–especially as a fellow woman.”

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4 thoughts on “Ode to the Uterus”

  1. Julia Lisella

    I love the characterization of the doctors here too at the end, kind of at the service of this powerful being—the uterus! Fabulous!

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