Saturday, April 11, 2015

Temporary - a poem about losing a piece of yourself - free verse #NationalPoetryMonth

The most beautiful baby ever (until my second was born.)
Early this month, Allison Joseph offered up a challenge: "Write a poem about losing a piece of yourself." She explained that this was literally happening to her later in the day, because she was having a baby tooth extracted.

On the same day I noticed the prompt, my friend Lynn, a card-carrying member of my neighborhood Brain Trust, shared an article with me about postpartum depression. I know I experienced PPD with my first baby by virtue of the fact that I so clearly did not suffer through it after the birth of my second. I'm glad it didn't last, but there were times when I thought it would never go away.

Baby teeth, extractions, and memories of births?  All this got me thinking of a crossroads in life where there is much to rejoice, but where there is unspoken loss as well. Literal loss tied together umbilically with the figurative. (March 2016 update: happy to report that this poem has been published by Sein Und Werden.)


When I felt as though a piece of myself was missing
after giving birth,
That's because a piece of myself was missing
after giving birth.

If the transitory nature of my pregnancy took me
from what once seemed a stable frame of mind
to what next felt as manic as
an organ solo
on acid
after giving birth,

Perhaps that's because I felt a piece of myself—
a flat slab of hysterical cake—
form, set, bake
and then
flop out of its spring-form pan.
A birthday ache
that gifted my child life.

If you're inspired to write about "losing a piece of yourself," I hope you'll share it with me here. We can shake it off together. Have a lovely day!


Anonymous said...

Here is something that fits here in more of a metaphorical/play on words way. We'll leave it at that for now :-)
Unless you want to put it elsewhere.


Goddamnit, he existed! You exclaimed.

I exist! You declared in the midst of a spirited discussion.

We exist. You bitterly asserted.

Then, in a moment of inattention, I vanished.

Amy Baskin said...

I love this, Judi- thanks for sharing it. For me, it conjures the realization that the speaker has lost her/himself within the confines of a relationship. Maybe it's something else for you. I don't know. But I love it.