Academic journal article Women's Studies Quarterly

Summer of the Sisterhood Clinic 1978

Academic journal article Women's Studies Quarterly

Summer of the Sisterhood Clinic 1978

Article excerpt

1

I doubt that any candle quivered in Ireland.

In paper gowns we waited on folding chairs.

The married one hadn't even told her husband.

Darlene, my friend with horses, drove me there.

No judgment was made about what had happened.

The doors stayed open on the fourth of July,

the air all day singed with celebration.

Our bodies were in our own custody.

Maybe walking out, some girls felt free

but dreamed that night about a boy whose hand

was blown off by a cherry bomb one year.

At picnics they would have their answers planned:

Yes, the boyfriend's okay, just save a burger

in case he gets off work and stops by later.

2

In case he got off work and stopped by later

she wouldn't have to tell him anything

except that it was over and she felt better.

Our bodies were in our own custody,

and we could return, or not, to the self-care meeting

to take turns with our legs open on the table,

holding a mirror between them instructively

as we each looked down at our own labia.

I doubt that any candle quivered in Ireland.

One girl's legs shook because her thighs got cold. …

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