They shut you in a hospital, they shave the hair off you and tie your hands down, and they don't let you see, they don't want you to understand, they want you to believe it's their power, not yours. They stick needles in you so you won't hear anything, you might as well be a dead pig, your legs are up in a metal frame, they bend over you, technicians, mechanics, butchers, students, clumsy or sniggering, practicing on your body, they take the baby out with a fork like a pickle out of a pickle jar. After that they fill your veins up with red plastic, I saw it running down the tube. I won't let them do that to me ever again.
~~~I can feel my lost child surfacing within me, forgiving me, rising from the lake where it had been prisoned for so long, its eyes and teeth phosphorescent; the two halves clasp, interlocking like fingers, it buds, it sends out fronds. This time I will do it by myself, squatting on old newspapers in a corner alone; or on leaves, dry leaves, a heap of them, that's cleaner. The baby will slip out easily as an egg, a kitten, and I'll lick it off and bite the cord, the blood returning to the ground where it belongs; the moon will be full, pulling. In the morning I will be able to see it: it will be covered with shining fur, a god, and I will never teach it any words.
Friday, September 14, 2007
Two excerpts from Margaret Atwood's novel Surfacing.