Dear Doulas

Sometimes the jolts of pain in my guts
feel like flashes of dying.
Mortality and I are very close.
I won’t say we’re friends
but we respect each other.
We know the power each of us has
and the potential cost of playing.

Lightning bolts in my capillaries
and thunder in my soft tissues;
A typhoon in my womb
and I am flooded, going under.
The trees I used to reach for
branches of have been torn out.

There is one lifeline left:
the story inside me.
But I can hardly hear it now;
The storm is too loud
even though the story
is dying to get out.

Maybe if I treat it
like the baby I never had
Like the child I’ve carried too long
Like my last fight to push
this fucker out of me
and finally have the birth that will
give her life,
will let her live
even if I don’t;

I didn’t let go of my one chance
to be a mother after all
when that tiny spirit expired.
If I give it all I’ve got
one last time to save a life
I’ll make my mother and grandmother
proud in the next world,
and be the good mother
they always believed I would be.

If you could just help me now,
help me with this labor.
I can scream and push and cry
with sweat sparkling and blood
on my skin, and you can push me
harder. With your love
in the air, I could breathe
stronger, and with all my might
together with yours,
Beloveds beyond;

I think I can save her
this child: the story,
and she can live as the light
you saw in me all my life.
She can touch the hearts and
stir the souls I’m charged with,
and remind the others, shaking
in their hiding places,
they are not alone.

As for me,
I can stop pushing,
heaving and crying.
I can finally stop fighting
and come home
to rest.

So get ready;
A bright light is going out
with a song and a story,
and a new light is coming in;

So lean in.

Copyright © 2018 Sheyorah Aossi

Artwork by Emily Kell

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