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    2012 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 29

    Categories: 2012 November PAD Chapbook Challenge, Poetry Prompts, Poets, Robert Lee Brewer's Poetic Asides Blog, What's New.

    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.

    *****

    Follow me on Twitter @robertleebrewer

    *****

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    About Robert Lee Brewer

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    100 Responses to 2012 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 29

    1. Miss R. says:

      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 says:

      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. says:

      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. PSC in CT says:

      Genesis

      silver sky-spun wonder
      sparkles everywhere,
      limning,
      illumining every branch,
      sunset
      bringing a painful radiance,
      pure white light,
      as if the world herself
      might be reborn

    5. RJ Clarken says:

      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.

      ###

    6. RJ Clarken says:

      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

    7. 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.

    8. julie e. says:

      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.

    9. JRSimmang says:

      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.

    10. 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

    11. Yolee says:

      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.

    12. po says:

      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.

    13. Rorybore says:

      death
      cold final
      chilling, unwilling, ending
      flames burst and burn; ashes remain
      breathing, waking, rising
      glorious, hopeful
      reborn

    14. Rorybore says:

      Labour
      water flowing
      breathing, tightening, pushing
      moments worth the pain
      Birth

      Depart
      the darkness
      head down pursuing
      reach that distant light
      Arrive.

    15. claudsy says:

      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.

    16. 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.

    17. RobHalpin says:

      Gimme Gimmes

      years of parents
      more interested
      in being liked by their kids,
      in being their kids’ friends,
      has led to a decline in discipline
      and given birth to the Gimme Gimmes

    18. De Jackson says:

      Mucho posting issues today. A little like giving birth. ;)
      I’m here:
      http://whimsygizmo.wordpress.com/2012/11/29/renaissance/

    19. final push
      a single cry
      we meet at last

    20. Birth

      Before I go
      I hope to see you
      Read your first book,
      Then watch the wonder appear on the
      Horizon of your sweet face as you journey on.

    21. 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.

    22. 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.

    23. posmic says:

      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.

    24. DanielAri says:

      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.

    25. Casey says:

      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.

    26. 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

    27. 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

    28. pmwanken says:

      EXPECTANT
      (a shadorma)

      They waited
      for the promised king
      to save them;
      many are
      still waiting, not convinced He
      came through virgin birth.

    29. elishevasmom says:

      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

    30. shellaysm says:

      “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

    31. Michael Grove says:

      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

    32. PKP says:

      Sandy

      They lived on a sandcastle
      decorating heedlessly
      as the sea snickered
      and finally in unendurable
      insult reclaimed her
      rightful place
      as their toys floated
      away

    33. PKP says:

      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

    34. 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.

    35. 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.

    36. elishevasmom says:

      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

    37. Mike Bayles says:

      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.

    38. 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!

    39. ashleyb says:

      Having a problem posting comments :(

      • ashleyb says:

        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.

    40. Marianv says:

      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.

    41. 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.

    42. Domino says:

      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

    43. Jane Shlensky says:

      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.

    44. 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”!

    45. elishevasmom says:

      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

    46. Glory says:

      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

    47. Baby in cover
      One birthed by many parents
      Hear proud poets coo

    48. barbara_y says:

      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.

    49. OOPS! That’s all your days not you days!

    50. 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.”

    51. Birth

      not being into being
      each moment
      a star
      the universe
      all
      blooming
      I close my eyes
      and they all
      disappear
      if only
      I could open them
      and see you
      one
      more
      time

    52. 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.

      • I was a birthing partner for women who didn’t have someone to be with and your poem just touches what I have never put into words…beautiful! Thank you!!

      • 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 :-)

    53. Ber says:

      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

    54. Moonrise

      You must leave here now
      with no thought of returning.
      The moon is rising,
      just let the tide wash in and
      raise your head toward the light.

    55. 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.

    56. 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.

    57. DAHutchison says:

      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.

      ###

    58. sonja j says:

      Ah, yes! That is a familiar struggle.

    59. 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!

    60. sonja j says:

      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.

    61. 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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