a taste of ‘Birth’

103 writers take on birth and new beginnings


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Mother has told Clare to sit, / then placed me, swaddled, / freshly arrived from / the maternity ward, / into her lap. from Early On by Ed Ruzicka

But in my mother’s world my birth gleamed like a thousand stars. And that means more to me than any truth. from Stars by Georgia Cook

If I’d given birth / one hundred years ago / I’d probably be dead. from Progress by Jan Chronister

My mother’s voice grew deeper than it was when I was a child. from I Am Born by Gary Percesepe

It wants something, and it is growing impatient. It wants to see the light of day, but I am not ready to give birth. from About To Be Born by Cynthia Leslie-Bole

but May’s long evenings fade / shadows and voices deepen / legs lengthen and trudge over bills and beauty from September Song by Mir-Yashar Seyedbagheri

Her great-grand children / held their breath as / she let a sigh of ecstasy / escape the upward curve / of her lip from The Rudimentary Science of Breathing by KB Baltz

Crotched matinee coats with / Matching bootees, / Handed down from Great Aunt Rose to niece. from Birth Pool by Christine Law

Whatever, it’s over. It was just a bit of fun for me, but you fell for me, and that’s just off-putting. from A Late Consultation by Claire Schön

This is the granddaughter / who used to be our grandson, / so dressing up means a lot to her. from Rebirth by Wayne Scheer

I punched and kicked. I didn’t know what this Halloween thing was or how long it lasted but I wanted in on it. from It’s a … Baby by Paul Beckman

“Don’t tell me,” she had told her doctor months ago. “I don’t want to know if it’s a boy or a girl. I want it to be a surprise.” from Recalling My Own Birth by Melissa Wong

I am stripped of a skin stretched too thin. from Post Partum by S J Mannion

If the school had a future champion on their hands, they wanted to be remembered as ‘supportive’ and ‘inspirational’: their famous alumnus, the first ever. from Becoming Me by Yvonne Clarke

All those years, trying to shield me from pain and fear, keeping me safe. Alive. from Leaving by Clare Martin

I hope life swaddles you in love, / cradles you in softness and serenity from Your Birth Day by D. L. Lang

Tradition has it that as soon as a woman announces her pregnancy, her grandmother retrieves the ancestral AK-47 from the kitchen pantry from New Mum – Old Gun by Louise Lameko

We are never alone, we intimate bodies, / closer to me than the man who made you. from Bodies by Jenean McBrearty

I named her Amber as in forever / Wrapping her around my heart from Amber by Aurora M. Lewis

The phone buzzed and a text message appeared. My eyes blurred, but I made out the words; an objection, winner disqualified from The Last Lullabye by William Falo

But she’d said my mother had died in childbirth, that she and Grandfather had initially taken care of me because of my father’s job, but later when he’d joined the Marines from In Name Only by Howard Brown

My hands cup my empty belly, / Holding my breath, / Hoping my sobs are muffled, from Behind the Shower Curtain by Lois Perch Villemaire

She squealed in delight, / he groaned in dismay / and staggered zombie-like / toward the door from Family Man by Colleen Moyne

One morning George woke up and at his nostril was a small green apple. from Not Far From the Tree by Michelle Dickins

The edge of the window was closer then ever, almost within reach. I could almost remember who I belonged to. from Newborn Who Lost Parents by Niall Prior

My mom told me / I was born on February 29th. from Worth a try by Steven Deutsch

The mother looked angry / People laughing at her babies from Angry Momma by Chuka Susan Chesney

Though we don’t know each other, / We speak as travelers speak, / Establishing common ground. from Beginning a Book by Mary Ann Noe

“A Virgo! I’m in good hands. I have faith you are well-prepared.” from Push the Pushing by Beatriz Seelaender

Eventually, you become so big it is untenable to survive in the cooped-up space. from Bursting Forth! by Chris Hall

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