Nothing helps. I taste ashes
in my mouth. My eyes are flat,
dead. I want no platitudes,
no stupid shallow comfort.
I hate all pregnant women,
all new mothers, all soft babies.
The space I’d made inside myself
where I’d moved over
to give my beloved room to grow—
now there’s a tight angry
bitter knot of hatred there instead.
What is my supplication?
Stupid people and new mothers,
leave me alone.
Deliver me, Lord,
of this bitter afterbirth.
Open my heart
to my husband-lover-friend
that we may comfort each other.
Open my womb that it may yet bear living fruit.
Posted by permission from “A Spiritual Life: A Jewish Feminist Journey,” by Merle Feld, the State University of New York Press, copyright 1999, State University of New York. All rights reserved.This site contains copyrighted materials, including but not limited to text, photos and graphics. You may not use, copy, publish, upload, download, post to a bulletin board or otherwise transmit, distribute, or modify this poem in any way, except that you may download one copy of this poem on any single computer for your own personal, non-commercial use, provided you do not alter or remove any copyright, author attribution, or other proprietary notices.