Commentary: Accountability and Praise

Johanna Shapiro

The juxtaposition of these two poems, “In Praise of the Birthing Vacuum” by Martina Nicholson and “Account, Accountable” by Arlene Katz, although random (like much in life) should give us pause. They describe two momentous alterations in life (one usually eagerly anticipated and the other dreaded) – the point at which a couple becomes a family and the moment at which the American dream of home ownership disintegrates. They also describe the promise and potentiality of what might be in this world as well as the despair and injustice of so much of what is. They beg the question, which view is right?

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