The Trimurti: A Birthing Poem
My new little one.
Twelve days ago, I gave birth to my first baby. As I labored in the hospital, I was aware that I would be missing my dear oldest friend’s great big birthday bash that night. Diagnosed eight months ago with neuro-endocrine cancer, my friend recently learned she probably has less than six months to live. Deciding not to wait for her birthday later on in the year, a huge party was organized in her honor.
While I am overflowing with joy at the birth of my son, and the birth of my motherhood, I hardly know how to begin to say goodbye to someone who has always been there with me, through nursery, primary, junior high and high school, boyfriends, weddings, and more. I am struck by how seemingly polar opposites can hit our lives at the same time.
I wore a necklace throughout my pregnancy
A trinity charm, swirled into one
Creator, Sustainer, and Purger
For all three sometimes come at once
As they often do at a birth, I suppose.
I crouch upward—breathing, pushing, exhaling
With all I have and more, then sink back,
Eyes shut, catching my breath
All of the moment in my heart.
I smile then—truly
Because I know nothing but love and intensity
For this baby boy
While I lay there
Another birthday is celebrated—
Really, it isn’t exactly her birthday
But if you had less than six months
You’d celebrate early too
Thirty years, her last milestone.
Shiva, do you know you take a mother of five babes?
What do you want to purge? I dare not ask why.
The Creator smiled on us that day twenty years ago
She and I sat over our cross-stitch, two merry misses
When Mother called from two houses down
To witness a birth
My calico calm, near serene, purred her kitten into life
With her hypnotic humming
And I, struggling to do things right
Hastened to tie the thin, red thread around the chord,
When he began to chirp, hardly a mew.
The Sustainer is come to stop time.
I never watch the ticking clock
And open my eyes with ecstatic surprise,
When they place his wet, slippery body on my chest.
And the weather is so mild
February forgot its season
At my back door a crocus pushes its tender leaves upward
Childhood is not unlike motherhood: tenderly aware of only now
Motherhood is not unlike the yoke
Of rainbow connections and pulsing sensations
I love, I feel, I know, I heal
As we vibrate to the lullaby
I sing in the key of present tense