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2012 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 29

Today’s prompt comes from Bonita Jones Knott, a poet I met earlier this year in Colorado at a writing retreat.

Here’s Bonita’s prompt: Write a birth poem. Write a poem on the experience of giving birth or witnessing birth, or feeling reborn in anyway.

Robert’s attempt at a Birth Poem:

“Good morning”

Every morning, I find myself next to you
or thinking of how I want to find myself

next to you. Every morning, like a blessing,
I’m reborn into my love for you, knowing

there’s no one I’d rather find myself next
to in the morning and no one I’d rather

want to find myself next to in the morning.
Every morning, like magic, like hocus

pocus, I want to be the rabbit in your
magician’s hat, the one you grab by

the ears to hold in front of the audience,
or, like a science experiment, I want

to be your hypothesis, the one you
constantly test to draw your conclusion.

*****

Thank you, Bonita, for giving birth to this prompt! Click here to learn more about Bonita.

Click here to share your poems on the WD Forum.

*****

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*****

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100 thoughts on “2012 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 29

  1. Miss R.

    Blargh. I’m super late, but I’ve made it this far, so I may as well finish off the challenge, eh?

    Advent (A Harrisham Rhyme)

    The candle barely flickers, its flame
    Enduring the service stalwartly.
    God smiles down as we sing out His fame;
    Drowning sorrows melodiously.
    God’s grace will never be put to shame.
    Saviour born for us, hear our hearts’ plea.

  2. IrisD

    We were born siblings, but chose to become friends.
    I was the baby, with a big sis and even older bro.
    I never knew Mother’s first born girl
    An accident claimed her before my arrival
    Twice a week off to market we would go
    Sold eggs, milk and cream from our overflow
    We seldom had friends to share our play
    My sister was my playmate day to day
    Carefree days full of laughter and errands
    We were born siblings, but chose to become friends.

  3. julie e.

    YOU

    and I’m missing you hard
    and someone comes on the radio
    reminding me of your voice, your laugh
    and I see your smile
    making the corners of my mouth
    turn up
    and for the moment
    you are reborn.

  4. RJ Clarken

    Chaos Theory and Dancing Stars

    “You must have chaos within you to give birth to a dancing star.” ~Friedrich Nietzsche

    Bedlam, topsy-turvyness
    and pandemonium do bless
    my world. Normalcy, au revoir.
    Look! Chaos reigns. A dancing star.

    I ask myself, “Hey, what on earth
    were you thinking when you gave birth?
    Was inspiration très bizarre?
    Look! Chaos reigns. A dancing star.

    A boy, a girl. They’re each madcap.
    I think I fell into a trap
    that’s ‘off.’ A crazy cookie jar.
    Look! Chaos reigns. A dancing star.

    Despite the oddities, life’s stage
    is colorful at any age.
    So rock on, weird. It works, so far.
    Look! Chaos reigns. A dancing star.

    ###

  5. RJ Clarken

    The Birth of the Brews

    …And from a tub in a pub
    By a beer-makers club…
    Yeah, they steeped grains
    As part of the brews
    From a malt extract
    With hops, in fact
    They added some yeast
    Pushed it to high heat
    ‘Til it was sweet
    Sweet enough, at least
    And then they nursed it, rehearsed it
    And gave out the news*

    That these brewers gave birth to the brews!

    ###

    *With apologies to Ray Henderson and Buddy G. DaSilva

  6. Nancy Posey

    Not my own story, but one to which I was fortunate enough to bear witness in Wuhan, China:

    Poem for Allie

    I don’t know where you were born,
    or when, or to whom. Did she weep
    to see you were a girl child? Leaving you,
    did she hide and watch to see
    that someone found you, took you in?
    Who first bathed you, dressed you,
    sang lullabies? Who chose your name,
    the color or the sunset sky?
    My birth pains, my waiting for you
    with only your single tiny picture,
    lasted weeks, not hours, cutting
    not your cord, but miles of red tape.

    I was born that day, a mother at last,
    reaching, taking you in my arms
    as your wide eyes stared up,
    into my awestruck face, my happy,
    tear-filled eyes. You christened me
    before the flight home, your voice
    so small, catching me by surprise,
    in that most universal of languages,
    you called me Mama.

  7. julie e.

    What i like about writing: when it takes you in a different direction than you thought you were going, and teaches you something that was in your brain all along.

    CHOOSING

    Accepting
    that childhood spoke truth
    of my life,
    then leaving behind the
    very craziness that defined it,
    growing and learning
    as I left it,
    could I be reborn,
    knowing new
    living new?
    Accepting
    that adulthood speaks truth
    of my life,
    then opening eyes to
    realize the tumultuous
    ride that defines it,
    growing and learning
    as I see it,
    can I be reborn,
    knowing new
    living new?
    Life remaking itself
    as people/hopes/dreams
    die
    and we move forward
    riding the crazy ride,
    growing and learning,
    choosing to form it
    into something new
    with new hopes,
    reborn.

  8. JRSimmang

    At first, I just sat and stared at walls for hours, taking in the sunlight, feeling it tingle against my skin like some sort of tightly bristled brush itchy and comforting at the same time hot chocolate sat next to me I couldn’t remember when it was I made it but it sounded good at the time the heat from the my mug (the one with the picture of Twin Falls) radiated glowed even I could sense the air around it Purple and deep crimson the fancy marshmallows (the ones that are tinier than the tiny ones and don’t melt as fast) bobbed on the surface They reminded me of my first lovers tits PERFECT and WHITE and never sank down into the deep dark recesses where I wanted to take all her clothes off with my teeth.
    that’s when the urge would rear up and bite my ankles knees hips jaw there was one thing only for me to do and that was smoehow getting it under my skin the way it gets into my head
    she said she wanted to try it because I became Superman in his tight blue leotard and red cape flying around and rescuing damsels in distress from burning buildings while I was a burning building myself torn up in the flames and constantly inhaling ashes so I let her have some fun and she did.
    She did.
    She did
    and she did
    and she did
    and she died.
    It was a moment. It was the last little flicker of light that made her into more spirit than body, which was the goal of the stuff anyway. But I never did. I never got so close that the last breath I breathe would be the last breath I breathed.
    So. I stopped. I had to. What other choice would there have been for me?
    I know it won’t bring absolution. It won’t retrace the air into her lungs and stop the bleeding in her brain.
    But at least, now, I can see the horizon with the sun on it and not think to myself that I could swallow it whole. The sun is warm this time of year.

  9. Bruce Niedt

    Since I skipped this one to write for Day 30 first, this haiku (or more accurately, senryu) may seem like a bit of a cop-out for its brevity, but it’s a sincere sentiment:

    grandparents-to-be:
    an old instinct stirs inside
    soon to be reborn

  10. Yolee

    Of a Partially Smeared Journal (April, 1995)

    It isn’t just my womb
    engorged with your soft flesh:
    my spirit seems to cradle yours
    like a mission statement
    robed in a whisper.

    Love counts on your arrival,
    and holds the door open to
    the tabernacle in my heart.

    Your sisters are there, ensuring
    every space bobs under the gleam
    of a million candles only
    they are able to light.

    Today you kicked the dam
    open, two hours before
    the scheduled C-section.

    Pain is a wild dog that jumped
    a short fence to maul neighboring
    bystanders. But you’ll be here soon;

    your papa loves that the male
    landscape will expand. Moreover,
    he’s madly in love with the promise
    of our personal sun.

    Though I’ve been a participant
    in the childbirth olympics,
    meeting the challenge and greeting
    7lbs 9oz of reward, reminds me
    I cannot rely on laurels to shake
    off that I’m ready to be birthed,
    again.

  11. po

    There was a little girl
    that every time she
    would see one cat
    atop another would
    think they were fighting
    and pour water upon
    them. She never under-
    stood why her parents
    and sister were off in
    the distance laughing.
    She finally grew up
    and knew about the
    birthing process but
    not for a long time.
    So the myth of the
    farm child understanding
    sex from the beginning
    is not always true, at
    least it wasn’t in my case.

  12. claudsy

    Understanding’s Birth

    Childlessness excludes
    Experience of giving life,
    Though to watch as coach
    Produces understanding
    For one who had none.
    Pain always joins life
    In its journey on Earth,
    Growing pains, within
    Wombs or without,
    Flourishes through
    Struggle and adversity.
    To witness the birth
    Of another is to see
    The Hand of God at work.

  13. Sara McNulty

    Poetic Asides November Challenge – Day 29
    Write a birth poem

    Twenty-two months of labor,
    can you imagine? Mother
    elephant is quiet, patiently
    awaiting her baby at
    the Portland Zoo. With all
    the video of Mama
    elephant’s pre-birth time,
    including sonograms,
    I hope they allow
    precious private moments
    for a personal birth.
    Zookeepers and zoo-
    goers are thrilled to be
    part of this new sibling’s
    birth, as they were
    for brother Packy,
    four years ago. I cannot
    wait to visit, but for now,
    I’ll keep my distance.

  14. Michelle Hed

    New

    The wobbly dance
    of a colt trying to stand;
    The shiny glimmer
    of wet butterfly wings;
    The loud lungs
    of a baby to be heard;
    The closed eyes
    of a puppy litter;
    The closed bud
    of a flower ready to bloom;
    My eyes opened
    to the world around me.

  15. Karen H. Phillips

    Day 29
    Prompt: Birth or Rebirth

    My mind’s all mixed up with rebirth
    of my soul in Jesus
    and the upcoming birth of my granddaughter.
    Because I want her, her mom, and her dad
    to walk the walk, the eternal one,
    to know not just the flutter of new life
    when a baby enters this world,
    but the bursting chrysalis
    when a person becomes a new creature in Christ.

  16. posmic

    Fact

    When it’s all done, you are wearing enormous mesh underwear
    and a huge maxipad that’s also an icepack. The emptiness shakes you
    for a while, and the sleep-nonsleep of the hospital begins while you’re
    still looped on whatever hormones got you through, whatever made you
    think of your grandmother and wolves, whatever put you in a tunnel so
    you were totally alone, apart from speech, your own voice and others’,
    completely out of range of any soothing words or hypnotic suggestions
    or whatever it was you were supposed to learn in weeks and weeks of
    classes that, as it turns out, were total bullshit, completely insufficient.
    The good news, the great surprise, is that you were sufficient. Now
    you are glad again that your husband is here, that the chair reclines
    enough that he can drift beside you, pretend to sleep sitting up as
    carts clatter in the hallway outside your pretend door with no lock,
    as you pretend to sleep lying down on the pretend bed, amidst all
    the pretend comforts of this pretend room. There is, somewhere,
    your real baby, in your arms or in the plastic box. This is where
    it all begins.

    1. julie e.

      “completely out of range of any soothing words or hypnotic suggestions/or whatever it was you were supposed to learn” OH my GOODness, exactly!! The tempo so fits the experience too, well said. :-)

  17. DanielAri

    Pop.

    There is a person coming out of a
    person! There is a tiny person now
    emerging head-first from a larger one!
    The little head is pointing one way—south—
    while the big head aims north. There’s a single-

    double creature, cell-splitting, human—wow!
    She hollers, “Push my feet up!” The midwife
    barks, “No! You push!” Holy moon-leaping cow!
    The gate’s open! The creation of life!
    Everything in the world is unity!

    There is no such thing as a cutting knife!
    All comes together, solid into space,
    proto-husband in primordial wife,
    all in that blooming, interlacing place.
    There is the forehead! And there is the brow!

    And there—here—a new being with a face!
    Separating, rejoining in embrace.

  18. Casey

    Birth of a Sonnet

    A miracle of birth; I saw that word,
    “ring`ed”, appeared upon my pristine page.
    Like angel sent, the ringing was unheard,
    but she of settled wings, became my sage.

    “I am not made of steel”, I heard her say.
    “Your magic ring; it must be made of brass”.
    My bonnet, it did tilt, and up I sway;
    I’ll grab the ring of gold where bold be cast!

    My horse, his nostrils flare; we gallop round.
    Calliope , the tune, it turns and churns.
    The twisted road before us now he bounds;
    escapes my inner critic; churns and burns.

    For love of line, some freedom must be torn.
    So, from the heart, my little song be born.

  19. madcapmaggie

    Nov 29: write a birth poem

    Blues of the Birth

    You wake up in the morning, grab a mop, and start to clean.
    Hubby glances at you, mumbles, “Hon, you’re off your bean.
    Sit down and take it easy. You’ll be busy all too soon.”
    You answer with the gotta-clean-now blues.

    You’ve finished with the mopping, then you grab a rag and dust.
    Hubby hops out of the shower. You are brimming full of lust.
    Hubby’s grinning at you, and it makes you want to swoon,
    thinking of your lovely honey blues.

    You jump into the shower. Hubby’s heading off to work.
    Something’s dripping down your leg. You’re suddenly berserk.
    Your hubby’s with a client. He’ll return your call at noon,
    but you yell you’ve got the baby coming blues.

    You pace around the room and wonder how long you will wait.
    Hubby’s coming home, but knowing him, he’ll pull in late.
    You call upon your neighbor, tell her, “Sue, I need a boon.
    I’m suffering from the want to push now blues.”

    Susan grabs some towels, boiling water, cordless phone.
    You heave a big old sigh just knowing you are not alone.
    She settles you in bed and calls the medics. She’s attuned
    to the baby’s coming now, not later, blues.

    Margaret Fieland

    Margaret Fieland

  20. Robert Lee Brewer Post author

    Bonita was having trouble sharing her own poem (raise your hand if you’ve had that problem), so I’m sharing for her:

    You have been stirring around in my womb all day
    I touch you and you kick my hand
    Longing to stretch out
    In syllables
    And verses
    And sometimes rhymes
    My words
    So full of life
    Yet hidden
    And
    Composed
    For such a time as now
    I lay face up
    And cry out
    To announce your birth
    First a letter
    Then a phrase
    Finally with one last push
    You arrive
    My beautiful eyeful of prose
    I count your syllables
    And marvel at the sound
    Of your rhythm
    I hold you close
    Rehearsing the miracle of you
    Over and over again
    And then
    With one last
    Bit of strength
    I hold you up
    For all the world
    To see
    And in my eyes
    You look just like me…

    “Natural Birth” © Bonita Jones Knott

  21. elishevasmom

    Afterbirth

    She can still remember like
    it was yesterday.
    He stood behind her
    holding her wrists crossed against her
    chest, rocking them both
    from side to side.

    She can still remember the
    malice of his threat,
    pooling on her skin like acid.
    The fact that he whispered it
    in her ear made it all
    the more terrifying.

    The wound has healed,
    mostly—and yet certain things
    can still bring back the
    pain—unbidden to her conscious thought.
    All it takes is the smell
    of a let cigar, or to overhear
    a raised voice, or to feel
    evil in a stranger’s glance.

    The only thing that keeps her
    from being dragged
    completely under is
    to remember that
    he came into this world,
    tied to a woman—just like
    everyone else—just
    so much afterbirth.

    Ellen Knight

  22. shellaysm

    “Birth of Creativity”
    (Cascade Poem)

    Birth of creativity moves the soul
    Sometimes all it takes is one simple nudge
    And away toward fresh adventure we go

    When time, space, or circumstance keep reigns tight
    And it feels as if stress wins each battle
    Birth of creativity moves the soul

    Switch of scenery, new path to explore
    Just invite the right brain over to play
    Sometimes all it takes is one simple nudge

    It starts: a flirt with words, art, or music
    then surprises await freedom’s return
    And away toward fresh adventure we go

  23. Michael Grove

    What Is At Heart

    We begin our journey here to see
    where we shall spend eternity
    a short time on this earthly plane
    with love and hope for all good men
    while human bonds render our start
    we’ll only prove what is at heart
    and lead us through the open door
    so we may live forever more.

    by Michael Grove

  24. PKP

    Birth of A Mother

    A yellow ducky pin
    pushed hard
    harder
    until the babe
    holds breath in
    unexhaled pain
    and she leaning
    over hair brushing
    his bare belly
    feels the stick
    and births a
    mother in her
    shivered gasp

  25. taylor graham

    RESERVOIR STREET

    A one-way track dug into hillside. Here’s
    an adit that dead-ends where someone
    stashed a cushion, crossword puzzle;
    someone slept here. Against rock wall
    sheltered into cliff, a plastic bottle, pink
    sandal, miscellaneous litter. But mountains
    are massive in their wish to be born.
    Just look how periwinkle’s gone wild
    bandaging wounds. Tree-of-heaven thrusts
    up from every pavement crack, taking life
    by the root.

  26. bluerabbit47

    I kept telling
    myself that
    the Queens of England
    did this
    as I lay on the table
    under blazing lights
    coming undone
    the most
    private places
    in full view
    of strangers,
    And then, the doctor
    said, “He’s going
    to be smart.”
    A nurse said,
    “What a pretty
    little face.”
    It was like
    the blessing
    in a fairy tale,
    especially when
    eyes still blue
    as heaven
    cast their
    virgin gaze
    on me.

  27. elishevasmom

    Laundry Day

    “She had HOW many kids?
    Nobody has nine kids!
    I mean no one tries to look crazy.”

    “But how did she manage?
    I know they didn’t have
    money for a nanny.”

    “Now I’m sure you are making
    this up. She did all that laundry
    without a dryer?”

    “What are you saying? They couldn’t
    afford one? So how did she dry the
    laundry in bad weather?”

    “But, when she went shopping
    with all of them in tow,
    it must have looked like a sideshow!”

    “Oh, I see. For her culture, that was
    an average-sized family.
    Birth control was simply not allowed.”

    “But nine? Me, after the 36 hours of
    labor, the epidurals, and stitches,
    I ‘ll never have more than my Kyle.”

    “You heard that her dad told
    her that if the Good Lord had made
    her deliveries anything more

    than a big burp, maybe she wouldn’t
    have had so many. Yeah, I guess that
    pretty much explains it.”

    Ellen Knight

  28. Mike Bayles

    Journaling

    Every morning I awaken
    with a notebook at hand.
    I wonder if first thought
    is the best thought
    or if it will need revision
    while I’m reborn another day.
    Hopes and struggles linger,
    and I hope to tackle
    old themes in new ways.

  29. Walt Wojtanik

    THAT BREATH BETWEEN BIRTH AND DEATH

    The tender trap.
    Caught in this snare
    and aware of all that
    is required, for in every
    synapse fired and
    every heart beaten,
    there is no retreating from this
    confinement. The refinement
    of what this state is giving
    finds its proof in the living;
    this day-to-day journey
    to our singular destination.
    Amid elation and despair,
    we will find there all that
    we need to feed our survival.
    It is an age old revival that we
    welcome and desire; an internal fire
    that smolders from our first breath,
    until our last gasp before death.
    And in between, we occupy this scene.
    We celebrate its every waking,
    for in it the is joy and happiness
    for the taking. Be in no hurry
    to escape from this strife.
    Squeeze every last drop from this life!

    1. ashleyb

      Ok seems to be working now. I took the unoriginal route and wrote about childbirth. ;) Thanks for the opportunity to share about one of my favorite memories. Makes me want to give my now 15 month old daughter a hug.

      I don’t remember the pain
      but I remember screaming,
      And that final push, water, blood
      and relief.
      I closed my eyes.
      And when I opened them
      I was looking into your eyes.
      Your father handed you to me.
      But I don’t remember his hands,
      just your face,
      Brand new
      and familiar
      with my lips
      and your father’s nose.
      But your eyes were all your own
      so blue
      and wide open, looking into mine.
      We knew each other.
      And when I held you in my arms
      everything else became blurry and muffled
      like I was underwater.
      As you had been only a moment ago.

  30. Marianv

    To my newest great grandchild

    A newborn – all the possibilities –
    All the encumbrances of the genes
    What blessings have been bestowed?
    What curses?

    Will he be like him or her?
    His side or her side?

    Neither for he is unique
    A newly-minted person
    Upon whom all the curses and blessings of
    This world will be visited.
    Be strong, new baby!

    A little piece of all of us
    Carried in you
    Precious child entering
    An indifferent world
    Blessings on your soul.

  31. Walt Wojtanik

    PASSION REBORN

    We bury our dead,
    dearly loved and revered;
    held to an esteem of a higher power.
    And we sit minute after hour
    wondering if we will ever find
    within ourselves, the courage
    and drive… the desire to open
    ourselves to the throes of
    feelings and emotions that
    have found their way into
    the covered tomb of despair.
    But, the sun does rise again,
    the sparrows flit through the
    treetops and we awaken from
    a sleep less troubled to find
    that love never dies; love
    is life-giving, your passions
    resuscitated. You live to
    love another day, reborn.

  32. Domino

    All Alike

    We were all born, it’s how we’re the same
    Regardless of race, status or creed
    Before we came, or even had a name
    We were all born, it’s how we’re the same
    From basest hovel to home of acclaim
    Our mothers all cried, they all had to bleed
    We were all born, it’s how we’re the same
    Regardless of race, status or creed

    Duana Terrill Clark

  33. Jane Shlensky

    The Birth of Hope

    We hear barking from the pasture
    by the creek, alarm, summons,
    the old collie’s come quick call.

    Funny how one species knows
    when another is in trouble and
    offers any help it can, even barking.

    “It’s Connie calving,” Daddy says,
    and we grab the kit and run,
    through pear trees, past grape vines,

    over a fence downhill at a trot
    and we see her, down like a great
    mound of Holstein, puffing clouds

    into the chill of morning air, struggling,
    the birth begun, but the calf turned,
    caught. She’s been suffering.

    “We may have lost this one,”
    says Daddy, talking of the calf,
    “but we can hope to save Connie.”

    He presses and reaches within her
    to find the head and move it,
    the cow’s eyes huge and rolling,

    a guttural moan in her throat.
    Alice starts to cry, knowing
    beginnings of life should be

    more joyful, more optimistic.
    Daddy sends her back home,
    tells her to call the vet and explain.

    He knows Mama will do the calling,
    Alice the weeping. We have our strengths.
    We stand Connie up, hoping the calf

    will tumble down, knowing it cannot
    have survived. We’re steeled for that.
    Daddy is sweating now and cursing

    nature, fate, and Republicans. We smile.
    A small tug and Connie grunts in pain
    and the calf is born, a bloody mess

    with eyes, a black nose, his back legs twisted.
    “Will we bury him now?” Jimmy asks.
    “Not yet. Let her grieve, know he’s gone,

    so she won’t search for him afterward.
    She’s a mother, and has to do what
    mothers do for him. But go ahead

    and fetch a shovel from the shed.
    We best be done with it .” I pet
    Connie’s rump and witness her hope,

    watching this hurting cow, lick and
    nuzzle her babe, hum to him,
    nudge his useless legs straight.

    She cleans him like people wash the dead
    for burial; we stand back and give
    her that, even Daddy wiping at his nose

    and turning his back to observe the orchard
    for longer than it takes to see the pears
    are almost ripe. Jimmy is walking

    back toward us, in no hurry, wiping
    his face on his sleeve, a grave digger
    at twelve. Connie nudges and licks,

    hums and pushes, urging her calf
    to life, still believing, knowing what’s next.
    I fetch her water, seeing her udder swollen

    with milk, painful looking. I stay clear
    of her hooves. An animal in pain
    lashes out. Daddy has found a spot

    nearby to dig, a place Connie can
    visit, and starts to dig, when Jimmy
    yells,” Daddy! He’s breathing!”

    Daddy keeps digging, and we get
    that the calf is crippled and won’t
    be leaving this pasture. Now Jimmy

    is working, helping Connie, talking
    to the calf, calling him Little Buddy,
    getting his legs under him for standing.

    If he stands and walks, Daddy will stop
    digging, he thinks. Connie softly moos
    some kind of instruction, and the calf lurches,

    staggering and falling, struggling up again,
    weaving like a drunk, his legs spread out
    like tent ropes, and he bellows like thunder.

    Daddy stops digging and watches Connie
    position herself for nursing, Jimmy staunching
    the calf, calling him Drunkard, his new name.

    The old dog yips and turns circles,
    his one trick, and we cautiously rejoice in
    even twisted life. Daddy laughs at last,

    relieved, and says, “I’ll be damned!”
    Jimmy fills in the empty hole, packs it,
    and we wait to see.

      1. sonja j

        Agreed, it was well told, and kept me reading right to the end! Big difference between wild and domestic animals giving birth. I’m glad this wasn’t the first birth I saw!

  34. Walt Wojtanik

    BORN UNDER A BAD SIGN

    I was born in Aquarius, the guy that totes the brew.
    The personality traits I have fits it through and through.

    My time in ‘stir’ was uneventful, I bore my mother no ills.
    She did escape the few odd pains without the need for pills.

    The term of laying in gestation was not a day at the beach,
    when I assumed a bad position and came out of it breech.

    There was nothing I could do, my delivery was abrupt,
    I only wish the doctor marked my mother, “This End Up”!

  35. elishevasmom

    Reflection

    A pool of water,
    perfectly still.

    An image in the water,
    a mirrored reflection

    of that wondrous
    image, now the

    pool still no longer.
    Water in turmoil.

    Reflection cracked
    and wrinkled—

    the image becomes
    one with the water.

    Difficult to tell which
    is real.

    Water calms, small
    ripples, sighs.

    The image has struggled
    and won.

    Once submerged—
    now floats up,

    breathes, walks,
    departs.

    The image, real
    all along,

    refreshed, reborn
    alive.

    Ellen Knight

  36. Glory

    NEWBORN

    Two sleepy eyes
    A button nose
    Ten tiny fingers
    Ten perfect toes

    Eternally bound
    To me, to mine
    A treasure born
    At Christmas time

    Loved forever
    From this day
    Abandoned never
    Come what may

    Love unconditioned
    Love without end
    From this day
    Forever my friend

    A treasure found
    Perfection defined
    Delightfully small
    And proudly mine

  37. barbara_y

    Strange, but true

    Let’s Call You Mike

    I know my fantasy-selves, Beautiful and Wealthy, from way back.
    Old pals. Me, but cool. Imagination not straying far from the tree.
    And, after all, by sixty-five, a woman
    should have herself down pat, would have said “girl:
    know thyself” enough to know herself and
    not be startled by new, wriggling pink ideas,
    blind and hairless and good for not-much. But.

    Revelation can be parabolic mirrors throwing lights around the sky
    or a laugh that snorts milk. Flaming bush, small quiet voice, same:
    Revelation.

    Yesterday, I saw you on the corner, by the bus stop at Eighth and Broad:
    a young man
    –long legs, blue stocking cap, skateboard head against your thigh
    –like an old dog, ready, in the bright November to run with you
    being a boy.

    And I thought
    –suddenly–
    That’s what I want to be. A Boy.

    Not you, all specific, with parents and problems, itches, whatever. No.
    It was BOY, all whole and universal, like “Mountain” or “Joy” or
    “Blue Tick Hound”. A grand Platonic concept, born
    there at Eighth and Broad
    in the bright November sunlight, died Eighth and McGavock.

  38. Sally Jadlow

    Milly Marjorie

    Ten pounds of freshly-baked baby
    lays in my arms.
    What has God planned for you, little one?
    What are the deeds He has authored
    for you to do?

    All you days are written in His book
    before you lived one of them.*
    For us on this side of heaven,
    we must wait to read,
    one page at a time,
    as we watch your life unfold
    according to His glorious plan.

    Live it well, my child,
    live it well.

    * Psalm 139: 16 “and in Thy book they were all written, the days that were ordained for me, when as yet there was not one of them” (NASB).

    My grand-niece was born three days ago so this was the first thing that came to mind to the prompt “birth poem.”

  39. Nancy Posey

    I taught Lamaze classes for about 18 years. They moved on, but they always stay with me.

    Observer

    You allowed, even invited me here,
    present for the birth of your first child,
    witness to the changing dynamics
    of your family. Because I was your teacher–
    the voice of calm as you two sat
    with other pairs—husbands and wives,
    lovers, partners , a scared young girl
    with a friend, then alone, then her mom—
    you brought me into that second most
    intimate space, Labor and Delivery Rm. 3
    at the County General Hospital.
    I shared the back rubs, watched
    as the monitor’s hieroglyphics printed
    out proof of your pains. Face to face,
    I breathed with you. I held your legs
    and cheered as you pushed until,
    at last, the wrinkled crown appeared,
    a light fringe of dark hair moving
    toward the light. Your guttural groans
    bore evidence of your second wind,
    and as he moved closer, I stepped back
    toward the wall, out of intimate circle,
    knowing my place, releasing you
    from my care, watching new life
    emerging through my joyful tears.

    1. uneven steven

      Thanks for sharing this. Reminds me that one of the benefits of being in a service profession especially health related – when people are at their most vulnerable and most honest selves you get to know them intimately and help them through the really big things in life – birth death – injury life changes and then learn to let it go and step back knowing your part is done. Amazing how unique and special and yet how similar families are everywhere :-)

  40. Ber

    Guardian Angel

    She held on to her pain
    She taught it would never come again
    It did in sharp sudden strikes
    Her roars were loud her crys like screeching bikes

    Will anybody hear me the taughts ran through her head
    she lay herself on the end of her very large bed
    her hands gripped the ends like a child holding sweets
    her heart began to beat and race her head was full of heat

    ” Someone please help me”, she yelled out ?
    But no one came or heard her the words and cries from her mouth
    I cant stand this any longer as she felt a large gush
    This is when she began to push and push

    God love her she was all on her own the sheets were barely there
    will someone please come to me ?
    doesnt anyone really care ?
    I need to call the doctor where is my phone ?
    I dont want to deliver my baby all on my own

    Just then the phone began to ring
    she crawled to reach out for it
    Then she heard a someone sing
    PLEASE PLEASE HELP ME !
    she called out ,then suddenly a figure appeared in front of her
    As her baby came out , OH LORD GOD HELP YOU
    the voice said to her , you poor poor woman
    I will ring for help its okay now i will take care of you and baby

    AS her babys eyes looked at her with a loving caring stare
    she thanked god that night that the stranger did care
    we will always remember what you did for us .
    My baby will be told of the stranger who helped and we could trust

  41. Walt Wojtanik

    THE BIRTH OF LOVE

    The evening star marked it,
    seen from afar it beckoned
    visitors and worshipers alike;
    a chance to witness Love.
    Born is a ramshackle barn
    to two so different yet tossed
    together for the sake of the world.
    Their story, a beacon of truth
    in a world sorely in need,
    amidst human avarice and greed.
    That seed of the heart started
    to give us life the moment
    Love died to be “reborn” again.
    The story of this reason,
    the reason lies in the birth of Love.

  42. Andrea Heiberg

    BORN TO BE ALIVE

    Looking at this face
    in the mirror
    every morning
    saying
    gorgeous
    kind of doesn’t
    do it
    but adding,
    this is the first day of the rest of my life,
    really does
    make me come alive
    when thinking of the idiot who came up with this,
    now having me
    craving for coffee.

  43. DAHutchison

    The Process

    It starts with an exploration, of Truth or Beauty or Light.
    And then the incipient spark of a magical tale that just feels right.
    Then draft after draft it gets polished, till it’s seamless but gritty and real.
    And then I take stock of whether the reader will feel what I meant them to feel.
    To some it’s a waste of my time. To me I can only say maybe,
    But I know, in the end, it’s as close as I’ll ever come to birthing a baby.

    ###

  44. Linda Rhinehart Neas

    Into the Light

    Laboring, struggling, on the verge
    for what seemed like years
    Struggling, on the verge, almost there
    the first glimpse appears
    On the verge, almost there, suddenly
    where there once was nothing –
    words form on the white sheet
    a sentence is created – success!

  45. sonja j

    By Yourself

    There used to be a zoo
    on the island, for the tourists.
    They had baby lynx, fallow deer,
    colobus monkeys. In the side
    pasture were bison.

    One spring, driving toward
    the bridge, a female was
    alone, back of the field.
    I know nothing about bison,
    barely anything of cows,
    even. But she moved wrong,
    moved in a way that made
    me pull my car over to
    the dusty side, stomach
    clenched.

    It took only minutes. She
    arched and heaved, her
    haunches buckled as something
    large and dark slid to the dead
    grass. She turned to lick her calf
    alive. I sobbed and shook all
    the long drive over the causeway.

    1. uneven steven

      No I think wonderful describes it – full of wonder- – turned to lick her calf alive i assumed the calf was alive and sobbing on the long drive i assumed was from the intensity of the experience – but could it be from your comment the calf was dead or something else bad happened? just wondering – good descriptions :-)

      1. sonja j

        No, calf was alive. I was just very young, and had never witnessed a birth. It made me very aware of the unpredictability and danger inherent in birthing and being born, which had never before been real for me. I will keep thinking about how to convey that.
        Have read a bit of your book, btw, and have really enjoyed some of the pieces!

  46. Walt Wojtanik

    BAILEY

    A life in limbo
    lingering, needing guidance.
    Questioning existence
    and a world that would be
    better without. No doubt,
    every other life would be less
    becuase of such distress.
    The only way out is to get
    let back in for the second
    chance life will give. Angel
    wings and bell rings and a will
    to live. Life is wonderful!

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