Motherhood Poem (in many parts)

Part 1: Babyhood


Mother may I tell you what I see?

Mothers buried and mothers alive,

mothers with and without babies,

mothers very young and very old…

I see you there

pacing the halls and blocks

breathing fire with each belly squeeze

on the path to birth


but you’ve always been prepared for this day,

like a samurai.

I hear your bear gut growls

and slicing bone howls

invoking the ripping open of sacred walls

between worlds…

And your relief

and shudders of disbelief

as that purple white wailing puffy baby creature

rests on your chest...

all wet.

How you hope he’ll turn pink soon

and all your cavewoman instincts envelope

this foreign being,

closest to home there’s ever been...

and although it is so very different than you could expect,

you’d now die to protect…

that is wild bobcat business.


I see your deep sweat

leaking from dark eyes,

dripping breasts,

sour shirts,

stacked sinks,

poop-piled washer

and all your strength to breath


now, even when the cry waters

have passed your nose.


I see your bulging biceps,

badass hip-holders,

metamorphasized belly skin

and muscle inching back to the middle…

moments in the mirror,

mesmerized by its magic to show

a wholly new face…

and a new body

your eyes trace

over and over

in awe at it’s life-making capacity

and unsettling audacity to take up more space…


I see you look up at your partner

through pea soup fog

and notice in a fleeting sinking moment

the bittersweet grief

of what kind of life has died…

Wonder if he sees you the same,

what he misses of the past,

if he understands the depth of your tired,

and that this too shall pass.

Just wait my love,

just wait…

enjoy with me what is,

now, so new,

precious in its rawness

and pure.

“I miss you too”

you want to say,

and she cries again and the words slip…

only so much velcro for thoughts to grip.


And, I also see the sun-filled mornings.

Red lipstick and even jeans,

maybe earrings, until they are yanked too hard.

Shaking that bounty booty to Beyonce

in the kitchen

connected through lines of dance and drums

to the women of your tribe…



on earth or in heaven.

You feel them pulse their





mother juice

through your pelvis,

and the power changes matter into

the magic that it is.