“THIS IS MY BODY” • POEMS BY POSTPARTUM MOTHERS • #2

These are my eyes
They are blinded by a new sun, innocent as my child, yet purposed to look 100 steps ahead of her.

This is my head
It has gone away, and been replaced by my heart

These are my ears
They are to hear her cry – as far as across the world
Or close as beside me, open always to hear her needs

These are my arms
They are building strength to carry her, as she grows far from fragile

These are my breasts
They are a well, never dry
Perhaps gold, perhaps the greatest gift from God
To keep my child satisfied

These are my hands
They are to touch her peaches & cream skin
To teach her connection that is safe, and warm
And to clean her as every mammal mother does

This is my stomach
It bears the roots that feed my breasts, that feed my child, that keep us both alive.

These are my hips
They were the walls that kept her safe, the sturdy nest that grew as she expanded inside me.

This is my vagina
The gateway between divinity and the world

This is my mouth
To use with caution, speak wisdom, peace and love to my child. To gift her pearls. And to kiss her sweet cheeks.

These are my feet
They are to tirelessly take her anywhere in the world she needs to be.

This is my heart
It has been shaken and rattled and strangled and tugged and pulled and re-shaped, and re-molded to carry this new, huge love.

~Anonymous
Shared with permission

 

~This poem is part of a series of poems written by new mothers as part of a postpartum group/mothers’ circle facilitated by Britta Bushnell. The assignment was for each new mother to introduce their bodies to themselves and the group through poetry. Mothers were given the following instructions:

“Spend some time getting to know your new mother’s body. Pay attention to your body and how it has changed. Then, write a poem about it in the following format:
This is my (body part) it (what it does for you now as a parent/mother/woman).
Or…These are my ______, they______. (for plural parts like eyes, ears, hands, etc.)
Include your reproductive/sexual parts (breasts, belly, and vagina/yoni/your word choice) and a few others as well. Identify at least 8 body parts. New parents have limited time and adding something to your already busy schedule might make you grimace. Please try it! It’s a POWERFUL process.”

A new poem will be shared each Saturday morning for the next few months. If you would like to write and submit a poem to be shared, please contact Britta.

About the author: Dr. Britta Bushnell is a writer, teacher, storyteller, and mentor who blends her eclectic training, years of experience, and areas of study into a unique offering for individuals, couples, professionals, and groups. Britta is currently deep at work writing her forthcoming book, Transformed by Birth: Illuminating cultural ideals to enhance the experience of childbirth.

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