New birth

Eighteen years on, a birth is happening again:
the whole house labouring
as my daughter pushes and presses
against the walls, seeking to leave.

In fact I’ve given birth
each day for the last 18 years –
first smile, first steps, first day at school,
first love, first heartbreak –
each expansion a contraction.

And now my daughter’s giving birth
to her own self, and I’m her doula,
holding her hand, urging her on –
“Push!”, I say, “Push hard,
push on, push through –

one more

and you’ll be there”.

Amaya is hosting at dVerse tonight, and we’re thinking about birth, on every level.

34 thoughts on “New birth

  1. Smiling I am. I remember this process of our children leaving. When I was pregnant with my first of two children, someone gave me a framed saying at my baby shower: “The best things a parent can give their children are roots and wings.” No easy job, either one….but done with a joyful heart.

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  2. Although my daughter left home many years ago, your poem is so familiar. I recognised it in the lines:
    ‘the whole house labouring
    as my daughter pushes and presses
    against the walls, seeking to leave’
    and ‘each expansion a contraction’ is perfect.

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  3. Marvelous. The circular flow of life, and the series of births that make it. I’d like to share this with my class, if you have no objections (of course with credit.) A few women were just talking about their teenagers growing up and I think they would adore your take on this new birth.

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  4. Pingback: New birth – haibun for dVerse | Fmme writes poems

  5. Great Sarah, And so true, it made me smile broadly… Could only have been written by a mother who’d been through it all herself. In its own way, despite the challenge of the mothering process, a joyful, celebratory write too – which I suppose is what made me smile so…

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  6. A fantastic hymn to motherly love and devotion. Giving birth every single day: yes, I think you’re right. Today I have given rebirth to some old train sets which have been in storage for years – more laborious than it may sound! Your reading last night was very powerful.

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