*Trigger Warning: mentions miscarriage*
This was one of (if not) the hardest poems to write, and also perform. I remain humbled by the way it’s been received over the years.
"LETTERS TO MY UNBORN"
this morning I spent an hour just staring into the mirror. I stood there naked physically and mentally. My jagged reflection taunted me.
My eyes were glued to my still rounded tummy.
All my life I’d hated that flabby shape. I’d wail wondering if it’d ever be flat like my friends’. Like my cousins’? Like my favorite celebs?
I used to cry and knead it into the flattened shape I needed it to be.
Now I get panic attacks because I know it will never stretch and expand on a monthly, weekly … daily basis.
this rotund abdomen serves its purpose of reminding me how I despised the thought of becoming pregnant.
At an early age, I declared that motherhood wasn’t my thing; I didn’t care for it but kudos to those that aimed to achieve it.
The idea of giving birth grossed me out. Worse, images of gaining an outrageous amount of weight, and struggling to get rid of it, cinched the deal to avoid pregnancy. My self-esteem was already low, and body positivity? Couldn’t relate.
Ironically, I’d trade my soul — or eat meat, and corn (ugh!), everyday — just to feel you growing within me once more.
I’d cherish each new pound, because it’ll mean you’re developing healthy & strong.
can you believe that I’d once — okay, many times — joked about the reasons I loved being, and wanted to remain, childless?
I was repetitive in saying, “I like da fact dat I cyan ‘return tuh sender’ at di end of di day.” My heart bursts with rays of sunshine and love for my nieces, nephews, and godchildren. But I also love when they left whenever their times were up.
In my eyes, pregnancy equaled postpartum depression. I won’t be able to love my child like a mother should. The cries, sleepless nights and constant poop would’ve driven me mad.
I’ve suffered from bipolar depression for “donkey years.”
The feelings of isolation I’d experienced before has no comparison to the emptiness of knowing you’re no longer part of my womb.
barren. Barren is what I am.
Barren is what they told me I’d be.
Barren is all that I feel.
To the Moon & Back,
Angel of mine,
… are you there?