A Poem About Childbirth That Wrecks Me

5 Mar

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The Moment the Two Worlds Meet

By Sharon Olds

That’s the moment I always think of – when the 

slick, whole body comes out of me,

when they pull it out, not pull it but steady it

as it pushes forth, not catch it, but steady it

as it pushes forth, not catch it but keep their 

hands under it as it pulses out,

they are the first to touch it,

and it shines, it glistens with the thick liquid on it.

That’s the moment, while it’s sliding, the limbs

compressed close to the body, the arms

bent like a crab’s rosy legs, the

thighs closely packed plums in heavy syrup, the 

legs folded like the white wings of a chiken-

that is the center of life, that moment when the 

juiced bluish sphere of the baby is

sliding between the two worlds,

wet, like sex, it is sex,

it is my life opening back and back

as you’d strip the reed from the bud, not strip it but

watch it thrust so it peels itself and the

flower is there, severely folded, and

then it begins to open and dry

but by then the moment is over,

they wipe off the grease and wrap the child in a blanket and

hand it to you entirely in this world.

2 Responses to “A Poem About Childbirth That Wrecks Me”

  1. maryfollowsthelamb March 5, 2012 at 5:36 pm #

    “…it is my life opening back and back…

    So true on so many levels. Beautiful and primal poem. God bless you for being there when a new life hovers between two worlds.


  1. book review: The Book of Birth Poetry, edited by Charlotte Otten - April 20, 2012

    […] “The Moment the Two Worlds Meet,” Sharon Olds […]

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