Amish Witch

gas lights in their sconces burned blue
in the house was no trace of modernity
for over a century eschewed electricity
the girl used to think they were Amish
the boy and his mother
but he assured her they were not
“Then why don’t you have a fridge or teevee?”
“My mom’s allergic,” Sammy said
“To television?” Nina asked
“To all of it… electricity. Period.”
“What’s making that fan go then,” she asked
and pointed up at it
the large light weight blades
churned the gloomy air
“A spring inside;
it winds up,” Sammy answered
and then directed Nina to the stairs
“Mom’s up there;
she has it all…”
Sammy paused, looked at Nina’s belly
and continued, “…prepared.”
Nina brushed dust
from the intricacies
of the ornate Newell post
and started her way up
the sweep of the curving stairs
this old Victorian
seemed older than all of Los Angeles
grander than any at Heritage Square
sitting smack in the middle
of an obscenely sized lot
for such a densely populated neighborhood
she was always sort of jealous
ever since she was a kid
of Sammy and his huge yard to play in
until she got to know him
and now she was lucky she knew him

in the room, Sammy’s mother
had massive round mirrors
reflecting a bright pool of sunlight
from the open windows
onto the bed
“Nina,” Mrs. Tailor said gently
and shook her head
“Fourteen years old,”
heat surged like hot blood into Nina’s chest
“Please Mrs. Tailor,
I just need it done.”
all the mirrors seemed to turn
refocusing their beams upon Sammy’s mom
who suddenly appeared to tower tall
as the rest of the operating room went dark
“Your mother will never know,
never have a cross word for you
on this subject, but know this,
we are not in Texas
you should know better
you should know how to prevent pregnancy,”
her voice was like a distant storm
soft but potent with violence
“I’m sorry… just, thank you. Thank you,”
Nina sobbed
“Remove your pants and get on the bed,”
Mrs. Tailor ordered, seeming to shrink back
to her normal height as mirrors resumed
illuminating the bed
Nina did as instructed
and as Mrs. Tailor readied for surgery
she turned to Nina and said,
“You’re lucky I need the parts
you’re lucky you’re knocked up with a son
you’re lucky I have a son
you’re lucky boy parts are what I need,”
and Nina had no reply
Sammy’s mum was spooky
but she was glad
that in some ways
her abortion wouldn’t go to waste


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