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)


Labour Pains

Pain circumvents our fears
squeezes relentlessly

Still we proceed
withholding complaint

for this is labour –
a trial that harnesses

depth of determination
unfathomable focus

Somewhere along the process
an instantaneous shift

there is wonder to behold
and indescribable bliss

Birth is happening
and they’ll be no going back.

(Art mine)

These are Warriors

Younger women than I
are giving birth, unaware
of indifference; joyous
expectancy blotting out
smells of disinfectant,
and decay – I am invisible
to them, my daughters.

Babies they are, bringing
forth life, unripened souls,
hopeful, ignorant, unaware
that I know what violations
have planted the seeds, am
no stranger to the cruelties
of humanity, my sisters.

I may be unknown here,
but neglect is universal –
it’s brutality unremarkable –
am praying for miracles,
while the world spins, lives
losing control, and all I can
do is stand witness, Mother.

(Photo credit:  Huffington Post)

Lessons From A Newborn

Rest; nap as often as you need,
life can be exhausting; store up.

Cry; let your feelings be known;
your voice is your saving grace.

Joy is a whole body experience,
immerse yourself in total delight.

Hold on to those who love you;
your survival depends on them.

See the world through new ideas;
you never know what thrills await.

Listen intently when others speak;
they will be your captive audience.

Imitate others; practice until you
have found your own expression.

Trust the process, living fully
in each moment; be present.

Honour the miracle of existence;
embrace the blessing that is you!

Welcoming New Life

The world awaits, Little One.
While you slumber in your
watery cocoon, loving arms
ache to hold you, adoring eyes
long to behold your perfection.

You are a miracle, Baby Child.
The mother, whose body
has sustained you, craves
to smell your newborn essence;
a father is bursting with pride.

Fear not the process, Sweetness;
darkness will give over to light
and the chaos will subside, and
your lungs will embrace the air,
and you will find your voice.

You are promise, Darling Girl.
You are past, present, future;
revival of hope; an angel.
Hearts are ready to receive you,
and the meaning you bring to life.

Have faith, Precious Baby,
that this journey you embark upon
will be filled with love, and comfort
and support, and that the gift
of your being is a blessed thing.

Come home to us, Beloved.
So many are praying for
your safe passage, and I,
for one, already hold you dear,
my darling granddaughter.


Growing Wings

“Thank you for being here, Mom.”  The exhaustion in my daughter’s voice was echoed in her face.  The epidural had finally kicked in, and we were all feeling a sense of relief.  It was 5 a.m.  Her first contraction had hit at 1:20 the day before, as we were walking home from a lunch out.

I didn’t know what to say.

So many feelings were flooding me.  It didn’t seem like that long ago that I had laboured with her, pacing the hospital hallways, seeking relief in any way that I could.  Now my baby was having a baby.  It was a miracle to behold.

So I was feeling sentimental, and at the same time, wishing I could do it for her – taking her pain away.

I was in awe of the strength and courage she was showing, this young woman who as a child feared everything.   She cursed a few times, and moaned as the pain wrapped around her and squeezed relentlessly, but not once did she complain, or wish it away.  From somewhere inside her she had harnessed a determination to see this trial through, and her focus was admirable.  I could not be more proud.

I knew what awaited her at the end of this journey.  I knew all about the indescribable bliss and wonder that fills you the moment that baby emerges and is placed in your arms.  I understood how in that moment there is an instantaneous shift of realization that this new little being is totally dependent on you.    I couldn’t tell her, but she would experience it soon enough.

And I couldn’t tell her that my presence on this sacred occasion was no burden to me, but an incredible gift.  She could never know how grateful I was to her, and especially the baby’s father, that they had invited me here to witness this sacred event.

So, I smiled and squeezed her hand, and stroked her face, and reassured her that it would all be over soon, and bit the inside of my cheek to stop my own flood of emotion from pouring forth.

Somewhere along the way, my baby had become a woman, and as I bore witness, she grew wings and took on her mission with grace and dignity:  ascending to motherhood without looking back.