© Gessy Alvarez

Poetry No. 16 – Bruce Lowry

Abortion Clinic, West Texas
By Bruce Lowry

In the waiting room I think of my mother,
her hair
when it smells of lemons.
Too many straights and squares
– a brown clipboard,
black-lined boxes, a pen
that won’t write.
“No ma’am,” I hear myself say
to the woman.
“Never before.”
I retake my seat, notice a harbor
of ships on the wall. The ocean more
alone than real.
The room cold, nearly empty.
The light too bright.
All the nurses are white.
They call my name and I am calm.
The chill is leaving,
too suddenly.
The chill leaving, like footsteps.



A Louisiana native, Bruce Lowry is a long-time newspaper journalist and widely published poet. His poems have appeared most recently in Gris Gris, Brilliant Corners, and Exit 7.


Photograph by Gessy Alvarez (gessyalvarez.com).