Tag Archives: birth

BIRTH DAY for Milo

Monet's Magpie

The Magpie by Claude Monet, 1869

Your birth, I remember it well,
Born on the cusp of spring,
The essence of it stamped on my memory:
Unexpected April heat, my heavy, restless body pushing through thick air
Walking the loop—up the hill, down by the graveyard, alongside the woods,
Anticipation mounting with each contraction,
Rattling my teeth with nervous energy.

And all around, a building storm,
Earth barely containing the rising tide of sap,
A river of new life surging along branch tips, swelling the buds.

Third child and well attended, I had the rhythm of things down,
The cyclical understanding that roots into the fabric.
An understanding of the flow of things,
The current that would drive me along.
The midwife could see that and left me to labor in peace.

Peace in pain, a strange eye of the storm,
When you push the walls away from you,
Allowing the breath to come; release.

The walls of the room dissolved,
The energy of the womb focused
On that postcard-sized snow-settled landscape,
The magpie seated on the farmyard gate,
Illuminated by soft winter sunlight,
Patiently waiting for spring.

And when I stepped out into the world again
Carrying you, my new born, in a soft swaddling of blankets,
The pear trees were wreathed in white blossom.

BIRTH OF A POET

IMG_0032It struck like a Nor’easter
Barreling up the Atlantic coast,
Thriving on converging air masses.
And I was sucked in,
Bowled over by a freak wave,
Spitting mouthfuls of salty words,
Birthed out of me
As though a pair of rope-worn hands
Shoved them onto the page.

This virgin birth
Left me laughing with astonishment.
But on reflection
The seeds were buried deep and dormant,
The labor pangs, years in the having.
It was time
For those ripe, slippery phrases
To gush out of me.

Now I gaze at that mewling creature
Let loose on the world,
Cradle it to my chest,
Relish its earthy scent,
Scared of its vulnerability,
And take ownership:
The proud mother.