Friday, September 13, 2013


In the empty spaces underneath her skin,
does she feel the phantom flutter of small feet
before remembering: this is not that fullness,
but only hunger, exploring its newfound room
to stretch and rumble? Now it is her breasts
that are swollen tight and round. Scalding milk
splashes on her belly's tender folds.
In a world that throbs with hunger, is there none
to drink from her and satisfy this ache?

How is it my own arms are so full?
In the blur of motion and need, there's hardly room
for thoughts to rumble, rearrange, but still,
through the spaces in between the clamor, cries
from Ramah work their way beneath my skin.


  1. This is achingly sad. I am sorry for what event prompted the poetry.

    1. It's really a conglomeration.

      I was praying for a good cesarian recovery for the brave birth-mama who gave the gift of life to the gorgeous new adopted son of some friends. Thinking about her, and what it must be like to recover from childbirth empty-armed, I started to remember all the dear mamas I know who have in various ways experienced similar (but different) aches... stillbirth... miscarriage... infertility... I started thinking about how all our different mothering-hurts bind us together as women, and cut us off from each other just when we need each other the most. And the Biblical themes started swirling together too... Rachel and Leah and the other two women whose names I don't remember, and Hannah, and how do I be sure I'm not playing the role of Peninah? My soul came unraveled, the homeschool plans got downgraded a little bit, and I wrote a poem.