Birth Nostalgia

My son was in hospital for a few nights recently. It was the same hospital where I had both the kids and I found myself feeling curiously nostalgic, especially as my daughter’s 2nd birthday was imminent.

Fond Memories of Pain

It was horrendous
And the pain overwhelming
And I thought many times:
Does the gain really weigh up
Against this agony?

Then why do I feel nostalgia
As I squeak along the floor of this corridor?
This corner, this lift,
Where I was doubled over lowing
Like a cow as you pushed lower
To make a swift entrance into the here and now.

The sign that says “Delivery Suite”
Fills me with a warm sweet glow
Of love and remembered love:
This is where you meet a whole new person
Who is you and him but not you or him at all.

Who cares about pain when after all
That straining and pushing and the swearing,
The blame: “Never touch me again!”
You get to hold that feather-weight
And watch a soul unfold?


She meets the sea

She meets the sea

The creeping fingers of a nearly-spent wave
advance on your tiny frame.
Digging your toes into the sand,
you stand breathless
as the spray splashes up
into your beaming face.
We drift left with the waves,
foam floats on your tidal bath-
You are fearless
A glob of snot hangs from your nose,
but there is no time for tissues
when the sea is towering and crashing,
soaking you to the skin.

(c) Judith Kingston, 2014