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After Birth

by JR 

Posted: 17 June 2005
Word Count: 85
Summary: Written in the depressed months after having my first child.

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After Birth

Donít let the earth mother talk.
A joyous occasion, beautiful moments.

What does she know?
With her biodegradable nappies,
Organic mush, hand blended.
Breast milk flowing like a spring river.

Does she know pain.
The internal screams.
The guilt.
The self hatred.
The desire to die.

That small thing.
Looking at you.
Needing you.
Loving you.
Eating you.
Devouring you.
Consuming you.

Big eyes ordering at you.
You need sleep. You need help.

You smile and pretend.
Guilt grows.
Will it ever end?

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Comments by other Members

SmithBrowne at 15:42 on 17 June 2005  Report this post
Very brave, JR. Not the usual "sunshine and sentiments" poem that many write after motherhood (I worked hard not to write those myself).

While the poem itself is very simple and direct, it is all the more effective because it tackles the very not-simple, difficult voice of early motherhood that often gets surpressed because it is too hard for a lot of people to hear.

The only thing I'd ask you to think of changing at the moment is cutting the first two lines and beginning with "What does she know?" -- a much stronger opening, I think. No worries about losing any meaning; it would all be most clear.




Actually, Jayne -- now that I read it over again, I'll say it more confidently: you don't need those first two lines. Not only do they seem to be unnecessary, they read as weak compared to what follows. They weaken the poem, in my opinion. Starting with "What does she know?" pulls me right in and keeps me reading...

joanie at 08:58 on 18 June 2005  Report this post
Jayne, welcome! This is very honest. It's terrifying, isn't it? I think you have conveyed the feelings very well.

I agree with Smith that you could drop the first two lines to be even more effective.

I enjoyed it.


JR at 13:29 on 21 June 2005  Report this post
Thank you for your comments - I agree with you!


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