Shunned for her sin
a young figure
rubs her swelling belly
compulsion driven by fear

Tremors from within
stunt her movement
uncertainty paralyzing
her words…

She is unwed,
repulsive to a society
reeking with ineptitude –
righteousness negating action

Unsuspecting, the baby arrives
emits a scratchy cry –
filling her lungs with hope
and anticipation, trusting

Does not know
in her stark nakedness
that her tragedy is set,
life will not embrace and provide

Poverty has marked her
for a life of hardship –
the pious turn their backs
she is, after all, born of sin.

(Image my own)


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Permission to write, paint, and imagine are the gifts I gave myself when chronic illness hit - a fair exchange: being for doing. Relevance is an attitude. Humour essential.

22 thoughts on “Birthmark”

  1. How painfully sad. I’d like to think things have changed for the better over time, and certainly they have, yet there’s clearly a long way to go. No woman should be shunned and no child should have their lives predestined and limited by circumstances and social prejudice. A hard-hitting piece, very nicely done. xx

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  2. I’m reading “The Girl in the Letter” by Emily Gunnis. It’s fiction, but speaks of the reality of Homes for Unwed Mothers. Your last two lines say it all…so much sin comes from those that believe in sin.

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  3. I love that reminder of how all babies are born “filling her lungs with hope / and anticipation, trusting”. It offsets the poverty of spirit in the pious.

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