What was the color of my deepest ancestor’s womb?
Were our mothers’ wombs brushed with the same color
from generation to generation, all the way back to our first mother?
The truth of my deepest ancestor’s womb is hidden with her
deep and secret as the deep veins of midnight.
I try to remember the color of my birth mother’s womb.
I wish I could recall what she sang for those months.
Surely she sang since there was
one month for each choir of angels.
If she sang a lullaby, was it “I See the Moon”--
its refrain full with wishes?
Did my mother’s mother touch her daughter’s stomach?
Did she feel the beat of my pulse and bless me somehow?
Did she lay her hands on me
through skin and walls and blood and color,
me secret and deep, floating and quiet.
Colette Tennant is an English professor in Oregon. She has two books of poems, Commotion of Wings and Eden and After. Her most recent book, Religion in The Handmaid’s Tale: A Brief Guide, was published to coincide with Atwood’s publication of The Testaments. Her poems have been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and have appeared in various journals, including Prairie Schooner, Rattle, and Poetry Ireland Review.