Daily Archives: August 14, 2015

Umbilicus

from the
moment of conception
she is of me
yet not
me

in preparation for the
first stage of separation
her tiny organs plump
stretching toward
detachment

deep
within the womb
with thumb in mouth
she seeks her own
solace

I meet her
perfect little form
as the midwife severs
the first bloody
cord

even
as I rejoice
and marvel at her
complex infant
glory

even
as I hold her
touching skin with skin,
feeling somehow nearer to her
though now there is air between us,
and hands reach out, hands of
those who surely cannot
love her as
I do

and
even before she
has begun to love me
she has taken an innocent
step towards freedom
from my maternal
bonds

and
now she will
grow and learn
and break away
as we all
must

how sad
that even after
all the bloody cords are
cut and my child is freed from
those knotted strings of infant
need I still feel the pull of
that pre-natal lifeline
which, long ago,
connected
us

I have
learnt to ignore this
phantom tug at my aching womb
and the tightening of my heart,
for fear that my offspring
may steal my womb
or bleed.

©Jane Paterson Basil