Posted in Family

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


Trying to make sense of it all and . . . for the most part . . . doing it.

16 thoughts on “The Birth of a Child

  1. Your poem is lovely, it brings back the memories of the fear and joy mixed at the same time as i held each of my boys for the first time. I like your new look to the blog, although I will miss seeing your dogs each time I click on your pages.

    1. Thank you!

      I thought of you when I replaced them. I think I will be changing the header often just to keep it looking fresh. So they may make another appearance!

  2. A lovely poem Jean. Clever and im sure realistic, to begin and end with pain. I am sure the human race will have been wiped out long ago if the responsibility for childbirth was up to men alone.

  3. I guess you can sing too because the poem was lovely. It was easy to read and follow. A lot of poetry doesn’t capture me. I too like your new header. I’m not techy enough to figure out all the ways to move things around but I’ll get there in time. It looks fresh.

    1. Thanks so much! It’s not a very abstract poem, and I don’t know if that makes it less sophisticated, but I’ve decided I’m glad I put myself out there — you know — took the risk. Fellow bloggers are all so kind.

      Every time I pick a theme, I think it is the one I will never change again, but I do like this one.

  4. Jean, I’ve just started following your blog. It’s so beautiful. I so appreciated your comment on my blog, on The Silk Thread. I’m late in getting to you and responding, but I want you to know that your posts and photos are so touching. And, of course, your name is very close to my heart!

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