It is said

by mouths that do not move

it is gauche to write about oneself


and she didn’t always, for the world had so many things to describe

until the sink hole swallowed her breath, tar covered and added feathers

her crimson brand ran like a howl down a deserted one-eyed street

if she were a fish she’d have no scales, and nothing to measure what she lost

nor a compass to find through hooded treeline, her way back to who she’d been before

this is the way of transformation

forced from our stage we are bound and gagged

the way forward obscured like rubbing grease on glass

it hurt to be cut by ice, it stung to know no intuitive language

hands tore at her sides whilst she slept on a brick within a house, held down by gravity

they told her; you will not recover it is time, to put aside hope

along with your beautiful dresses, your long dreams and afternoon sun

she wasn’t ready to lie, like a pin against other cold metal

to be counted and cooked to the marrow, ready for sucking

for she was warm, she was alive, she hadn’t climbed all her life, just to see a cloudy day

it wasn’t her way to admit defeat

as migrating birds returned and sat like tired audience to her calls for help

she knew, a fight is never asked for, it beckons you when you stand on cliffs edge

trying to count the ways you might die

such a sorrow in planning your own end, long before you intended

she still had so much still to do

hair to plait, skirts to hitch, and ride, ride out into the wilderness

where raw bones are the purest listener

they will hear you when you throw yourself down on wet moss and

burying your fevered head in earth, call upon angels

for protection was something she hadn’t thought of

since she was a little kid walking to school alone

and then she had an imaginary horse, and all the years to come

now, the clocks turn back, time rushes forward like an impulsive guest

who has drunk her fill

ransacking light she streaks out into the forest and you cannot follow

because she is quickly absorbed into gesturing evening dusk

perhaps never there at all

that’s how she feels now, half alive, half hanging on

at the witching hour, it is all she can do not to throw herself into the glittering lights of oncoming traffic

for she is not as strong as those who endure like a costume, their own brand of hell

she has only herself and it isn’t enough

so the words come

and they stay loose and unsure upon the page

as if they know her fragility and their own insubstantial compose

if she can stay long enough, maybe she’ll see something new

maintaining equal hope with encroaching dawn

that is when everything from the day before, gathers

turns to dust and we begin over, perhaps better

with every urging push, splitting apart, garnering strength from invisible force

as fierce and distant as a Northern wind

we who know, how to birth life and produce hope

from the fragility of almost nothing


(Inspired by RandomwordsbyRuth who said; “Survival is the highest form of compliment we can give ourselves.’)


21 thoughts on “Birth

  1. So honestly & wonderfully written… but it was difficult to read, “she has only herself and it isn’t enough” because I don’t think that’s true for 2 reasons. First I believe you are more than enough to withstand anything that comes your way. And secondly, you are never truly alone… you have many friends in this world that care about your wellbeing, myself included. I know you didn’t mean it in that way, however I think it’s always worth telling someone that they are truly cared for & loved, which you are. ❤

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I know you’re right. I wrote it when the illness made me feel that way, illness as you know has a way of making you feel so isolated. Also, people in person versus online is like more tangible, having an absence of actual breathing bodies or a family, just kind of feels alone I don’t mean to be ungrateful though I am so grateful. Sorry 😦 and thank you 💓💓

      Liked by 2 people

  2. This just moved me so deeply. It reminded me of the tale of the handless maiden cast out into the wilderness with bandaged hands……. It is such a lonely journey and so deeply painful to be so emotionally abandoned, but I do believe we can gather our selves together after every force in our world has conspired to erase us or tear us apart. it takes a long time and a lot of tears and fears and anger. You are such a deeply talented writer. I stand in awe of what you express. Much love, sister ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Your opening lines grabbed me. It made me wonder, why do we write? Why do I write?
    To me, writing serves at least two purposes.
    The first one is to lighten my load, share it with people who have become friends and help remind me of who I am and of my worth when I tend to forget.

    The second is to process my thoughts and emotions. It serves as a therapeutical tool, a way to put words onto intangible ideas, subconscious beliefs, so that I can recognise the negative ones and stop them in their track.

    The third (I knew there was a third) is to share a story. I often tell stories about other people, but there are no stories I know better than my own. And my story is worth sharing if it can help others -feel less alone -avoid my mistakes -recognise abuse -stand up for themselves… and so many more things.

    The fourth: no one knows me and my story as well as I, so no one can tell it as accurately as I. I’ve had someone try to tell me how I felt and what to think for most of my life. I’d rather tell my own story now!

    So… go on, write! About yourself, about others… as long as it helps you and doesn’t hurt others, keep doing it!
    And when the result is so moving it gets the readers to re-evaluate their own beliefs, then it’s really the worth it!


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