In middle school, our hygiene teacher
Mrs. Miller warned the girls
about rogue sperm: they infest
all the swimming pools
and ponds, they inhabit the shower
(don’t take one after your brother),
they live on soap and don’t give up.
I felt lucky to be an only child.
Getting birth control in a popup clinic,
I’m in the stirrups, and the doctor knows
I’m nervous, so he tells me about one woman’s cure
for yeast: a yogurt douche, only
she used blueberry instead of plain,
and when he checked her the berries
oozed out. For some reason
this story does not make me laugh
as it does the doctor and the woman
who helps him, whom I believe
is a nurse. But he helps me,
and I’m glad they come
to an unmarked house and labor
in someone’s living room
for free. They do not ask why
I’m there, or what I need.
Exceptions were the rule.
Today the headlines track
old news: heartbeat laws,
reimplanting ectopic fetuses,
Today I’m grateful
I have no daughters, no granddaughters.
Image: Photo by Erol Ahmed, via Unsplash.