The Birth Mother

by Kelsey Gray

When I held you, your face

red and your hair matted,

small curled up body slick

with the effort of being born;

you screwed up your face and cried,

softly, your voice quieter

than I had expected, your expectations

lower than I had hoped. You gave up

your birthright with a whimper,

acquiesced to the foreign light

with an inevitable surrender,

giving away your dark warm home,

your origin. My blood, my

baby, I held you and I

cried, for I had no armor

to send you into the world with,

but poems I read you when you were mine-only,

the secrets I whispered to my belly, hoping–hoping–

it would be enough, one day you would remember my love,

you who came of my flesh, star-bright

in your nascent loveliness.

 

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Kelsey Gray was born and raised in New Jersey. She currently lives, writes, and attends college in Texas.

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