The Birth of a Child

What is it about poetry that makes us feel so vulnerable?  I haven’t written poetry for years, except for a couple pieces, but in my youth I wrote often.  Not long ago, I ran across a poem I wrote in my adulthood.  The thought of sharing it now scares me, though I’m not exactly sure why.  It’s a little like singing in front of a crowd.  Even after you’ve told them you can’t sing, once you get up there you are expected to at least carry a tune.

So here I am telling you that I can’t sing.  This is just something I wrote years ago after my third child was born.  I found, upon reading it again, that it moved me.  It could have been any of my children, but for some reason I was inspired to write it at that time.


The Birth of a Child

All at once the pain subsided.

Relief wrapped its arms around me.

A baby boy was placed upon my breast;

warm, moist, perfect.

In his tiny presence

I felt small.

The debt was mine for the privilege.

I was perfect, the day was perfect,

and I shall never see another child as perfect.

He stared blankly at this world into which he had landed.

As I looked into his eyes,

I was at the same time reverent and frightened.

Not able to go back, not willing to move forward,

the world stopped for he and me.

And just for a moment, there were only the two of us.

Until they appeared again.

His father, the doctor, the nurse,

and pain.


April 25, 1991


About Jean

Trying to make sense of it all and . . . for the most part . . . doing it. View all posts by Jean

16 responses to “The Birth of a Child

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