Tag Archives: birth

White Blossoms on a Branch

by Ethel Mortenson Davis

When all human
intervention has harmed us,
when all familia
have spent the fruits,
then the Great Spirit
gives to us our opening
from the darkness,

from the “going down
into the pit of our own agony,”

a candle,
a birth, a rite
into a new life.

Then we are assured—
like the mother tiger
who reassures her young
that they belong
to a family,
that they are important
in this world.

This is what it’s like—
White blossoms on a branch.

Note:  I owe the quotation and inspiration for this poem to Herron, Elizabeth.  2010.  Poetry for the Ear of God.

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Dispossessed

by Ethel Mortenson Davis

She waits
at the automatic doors
of the Food Mart
knowing food
is close.

She has recently
given birth
and is swollen
with milk.

She makes eye contact
with every person
coming out of the doors,
but most don’t notice her.

One person says,
“Look at that dog.”

She finally leaves.

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Sonnet 30

by Thomas Davis

I think about the moment when I heard
about each grandchild’s birth and how I felt.
The world, each time, took flight as if it dealt
in glory: Like the nests of bowerbirds,
red, blazing sunsets, Chaucer’s ancient words,
the stillness of a lake of glacier’s melt,
or bardic songs sung by the ancient Celts
that conjured life as Gaia bloomed and stirred.

Each face, in turn, became an individual self
that slowly grew toward what they could be:
Not pottery or flowers put upon a shelf,
but living human beings not contained, but free.
Inside this grief I cannot find myself,
but hear grandchildren laughing, wild with glee.

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The Birth

by Ethel Mortenson Davis
To Sonja

I had no choice
because the earth and sky
threw up so much
poetry,

no choice
but to accept
the High Tea Ceremony.

That night,
and all the day before,
the earth was cold
with wind-driven snow,

inhuman nurses
in an old hospital,
the father barred
from my room.

Finally your time came
in the early morning
with dark skies and gray clouds

like the snow clouds
over the mesas this morning
that came
with wind-driven snow
and ice crystals.

But in a moment,
the sun had shone
in the threatening blackness,
and a great arc of rainbow
bowed across the western
and northern skies,

making it all worthwhile.

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