Witch's Milk

My mother was born in the Mohave.
A few days later, her mama found small spots of blood
blooming in her diaper like brick dust settling.
The doctor explained that this sometimes happens
with babies born in deserts.
Having never seen it in her other daughters,
she thought this was the reason for the blood.
Something to do with the drier air.

Sixty years later, I read about witch’s milk,
leaked from a baby boy's breasts,
and find that pseudomenses
results from the mother's hormones
withdrawing from her daughter's bloodstream,
just as hers must have dissipated from mine.
This dearth has nothing to do with the desert.

"Witch's Milk" first appeared in 44th Annual Agnes Scott College Writers' Festival Magazine