- The Researcher Discovers Anarcha, Betsey, Lucy
Nurses ask me, “How does it hurt on a scale from one to ten?”
Anarcha Wescott, Betsey Harris, and Lucy Zimmerman are taken into the care of a reluctant country surgeon in Montgomery, Alabama.
see blood on white hospital sheet, tell me I am having menstrual cramps,
This is Betsy’s first birth.
send me home with oxycodone, ibuprofen.
Lucy is now months out of housework.
Five hours in triage
Anarcha brought into the world his first vesico-vaginal fistula.
another prescription [End Page 238]
In these three, Sims shapes his speculum, invents his silver sutures, perfects protocol for proper handling of the female pelvis.
wake at Johns Hopkins.
They are not given anesthesia. They are addicted to opium. Their children have been born. Their children have died. They help him. They are helpless. They begin this story, climax, descent. [End Page 239]
Bettina Judd is a visual and performance artist, poet, and scholar. She is currently a Five College Dissertation Fellow in Gender Studies at Mount Holyoke College, a doctoral candidate in Women’s Studies at the University of Maryland, and an alumna of Spelman College. For more information on Bettina, go to www.bettinajudd.com.