I've been feeling and thinking and processing a lot of things as I think about having another child next year or so (no we're not actively trying... but we'd like to fairly soon... maybe.)
There are things that are so hard to express just by writing through them... Sometimes giving them a meter, a pulse, helps me say things I couldn't otherwise.
And so, I subject you to my poetry again. Apologies in advance.
Male and Female He Created them; she birthed her children in sorrow.
In these words there is a song, it is the song of many ages,
It is the song of many women, it is the song of much travail,
And of the knowing that even in joy there is fear and sorrow.
When my first child grew in my womb I learned the song,
I almost lost the girl so small, I learned that she would fight for life,
And as I kept her safe inside, such joy,
And as she left, such awe and fear- that she could not be kept safe from everything anymore...
There were some almost-theres, faint flickers of hope,
Hope of a child that never was.
They are part of the song, my body singing the wrong notes,
They weren't quite mine, not quite in key.
There was another babe, she did not eat
She could not coordinate her mouth
To suck with joy the milk that sang from my breasts
And so her screaming joined the song.
She grew and learned to sing more sweetly with me. Another came,
She was not with me, and the song became desperate,
Where is my child? My body screamed,
But she was back with me soon, and I was scarred but whole.
I learned to sing again but just in time
For the sweetest melody I'd known to stop-
Breaking my heart as my body was broken,
Breaking my soul almost as I clung to the melody
The eternal litany
The sorrow and the joy entwined
Every mother of every child
Every father of every child
Every mother who never had a child
They all sang too...
And I was upside down and heard her song
And knew it was not lost.
And so I found the strength to sing again
This song so bright and fervent gave me hope
And though I felt I failed her as again I broke
She was so strong she sang despite it all.
And so I choose to sing again the song
This time in a much richer voice
Knowing that the dark and minor notes
Work only toward the whole though the discord
And atonal shriek may mar the song again
Still will I sing...
Some say that I should stop, some say my body can't
I say that through the ages women have in joy and sorrow sung
And I will sing until my song's complete.
And I will do it in this body,
This, twice-broken, much battered, too-big,
My voice shines through it,
And so because it is the instrument of my song
It is beautiful.
And once again it will let me sing
And even should it break again
And even if it cracks
I will have my song.
And it is the song of ages.
It stretches forward to my children
And back and back and back
And it is the song of Ruth, and Rebekah, and Sarah, and Eve.
And it is still the song that is most beautiful of all to me
And full of joy
Even when it's full of sorrow.
It is mine.