Woman with a man standing beside her
Both holding hands and waiting
Filling moments with words that
Have no meaning within themselves
Having meaning just for their sound
While they wait.
A tightening and the hands react in
Hightened anticiption, in a bit of fear
Practiced ritual breathing takes both
Through the tension of the moment
And then a release of the tightness
Again, the waiting.
Pain rises and falls in rhythmic patterns
The intensity banishes reason and all
That is wanted is release, retreat to a
Time when there was no birthing pain
Anger and shame, yet still clinging
A cry, a moan escapes despite resolution
Fear of this inner self, this stranger who
Threatens survival, who shakes to the core
Until all that is wanted is to slip into
A place of unconsciousness
Into darkness, waiting.
Then the crowning
The light touches hair
That is like dark silken strands
Hair that has been drenched
By a quick summer storm
Then the head emerges
A slow turning
Allowing the body to flow
Following the change of vision.
- - - - - - - -
A close reading, perhaps a second reading will make you aware that this isn't about the birth of a child. Rather this poem is about the process of breaking out of a depression,out of old destructive habits in order to allow a newer version of "self" to come to life. In this case, the journey was shared with a partner standing close by giving what she could.