Day 18

photo by Michelle J.

photo by Michelle J.

I’m thinking of birth tonight.

Our son, born at the foot of our bed, me on my knees. Like a prayer, Wil says.

My nephew, born on the day of the super moon, pulled here, same as the high tide.

My own birth, 30 some years ago, the first photos of my parents holding me, smiling, a little shellshocked, so in love.

My sister’s birth, me at 3, watching sesame street as she came wailing into the world.

And I think, birth is not clean or tidy. It’s not wrapped up in a neat package. It’s not cute.

It’s bone wrenching, wrung-out, blood- soaked, wailing,


It hurts. A lot. You feel like you’re going to die.

And you might.

Years ago Wil and I picked up a doe, killed on the road, abandoned. She was big, belly round, we had trouble lifting her into the car. We figured if the meat was no good, we could at least get her skin, tan it, make moccasins, a shirt, maybe a pouch as well. Bury the rest, pay our respects.

When you skin a deer, you make a neat shallow incision, right up the belly. The skin peels off exactly like a shirt from sweaty muscles. And it’s a pure, lily white inside, no meat attached, no blood, if you do it right.

Once the skin is removed, you make a slightly deeper incision. And then it’s messy. There’s blood, and ruby red organs, glistening liver, chambered heart. Miles of intestines. The smell of grass, and arterial blood, rich with iron.

But this doe, on this day, she, oh God, she, contained indescribable beauty. As we made the incision in her abdomen, we opened the womb that lay inside.

And out slid the two most perfect little baby deer. Twins. Long curled eyelashes, elfin hooves, and such delicate spots, you’d swear, it was just dappled sun shining through the trees.

Birth is looking into the face of God.

And if you survive, if you look into the face of God and come out safe on the other side,

After your bones have shifted, and your throat is raw from shouting, and your hair is plastered to the back of your neck and your heart is broken and mended all at once,

you’ll finally understand.

You’ll finally understand

what we’re fighting for.


must be born.







Thank you for listening,



photo by Michelle J.

photo by Michelle J.

Thank you Daisy, for this incredibly beautiful guest post tonight. Thank you for your words; for sharing.

A poem

by Daisy

We People,

Concrete and steel for hearts,

burning, gasoline-fire hands.

fucking trees and forests

rivers of acid,

acrid, rotting blood.

Dead fish,

We float below roads and bridges,

Harbinger of modern chemical


our nation of oleam.

We have come

to consume,

to climb.

Exist to progress,

shoulder shrugging, we powerless,

congealed mass.

Break away,

shining with knowledge

dirt covered faces

whisper magic birdsong

open lips

in awe of snake tongue spirit springs…..

and pau-pau.

Some day,

great wooden arms

will stretch and flex through our mass.

The river will be glass,

and the glass will be broken.

There’s mountains to move.


One response to “Birth

  1. I worked for six months on a commercial goat dairy in Yorkshire England. The farm owner would just shoot rabbits and leave them, to lie dead in the field. He took me out to show me once and I felt so angry without fully understanding why at the time (I was still swimming in civilized soup fully immersed). Another day a doe was due to give birth and I wanted to check on it. The farmers wife came out to redirect me to a different task despite my knowing that the doe needed help (with goats they often twin and get tangled up trying to come out at the same time). By the time I got there it was too late and I ended up trying to breath life into a beautiful black doe kid covered in afterbirth. That afternoon I let it be known in my uniquely Texas way that that would be the last time I ever ignored an animal at the behest of the owner’s wife.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s