A sudden rush of blood in my veins
And tonight I’m the mother I never was
Or wanted to be.
Through the months that I carried you in me
I balked in horror and self pity
At my unravelling ugliness.
It was impossible to ignore my capacity
To conceive and birth such a thing as you.
An unwanted child.
You remind me of things I wished I’d never known
Like that woman in the hospital who made strange sounds
While she died.
You remind me of morning afters and soiled sheets.
You remind me of clenched fists and unending kisses.
You remind me of that day you were born
I checked your fingers and toes
To see if you were normal.
But tonight I’m the mother I never was.
Because I carried you in me through horror and agony
Because I birthed you in a pool of blood and shit
I can hold you in my arms and look you in the eye.
I can watch you scream and flail your tiny limbs
Your skin crawling at the ignominy
Of being made to look pathetic.
So what if I did not want you?
I will hold you in my arms and
Tuck your tiny legs in the pit of my stomach
As we breathe against each other.
I will rock myself to sleep with you
And dream and wake and dream again.
Or perhaps I’d wake up and find you blue
Choking and gasping for breath
And I, transfixed in your embrace
Screaming, running, beating every gate and door
Evoking no response.