Sometimes the only babies 

us women (sub)consciously 

choose to birth are our words.  


Always a late developer, 

mine scratched 

on pregnant pause— 


then forced their 

way out of 

tight lips.  


Wayward, untidy, they 

crawled naked into 

the world. 


I tried to catch 

and tie them in 

pink bows 


but they wriggled out 

to play, 

confident, carefree, 


and I smiled when Kahlil  

and others whispered 

they did not belong to me.  


At night they crept 

into my bed 

and covered 


my nakedness 

with their awkward 



In muted nightmares— 

neglected, fear and shame filled— 

they disappeared. 


Today I wake  




even in widely spaced silence 

no-thing is 


generative words will 

always sound us out 

full-fill, still weight 

us—quiet and cosmic as gravity. 

first published online as ‘Giving Birth’ in Mokomagazine 2015, © Celia Sorhaindo 2015, used by permission of the author

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Celia A Sorhaindo is a poet from the Caribbean island of Dominica, where she now resides after living many years in the UK. Her poetry ...

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