Floating Downstream

Poetry — By on December 1, 2012 at 5:00 am

Poet’s Note: This poem was written after attending a foaling in our barn.

First fluid
Flows in subtle stream
Then gushes
In sudden drench
Soaking, saturating,
Precipitating.
Inevitability.
No longer cushioned.
Slick sliding forward.
Following the rich river
Downstream.

The smell of birth
Clings to shoes, clothes, hands.
As soaked in soupy brine,
I reach to embrace new life.
Sliding toward me.
I, too, was caught once;
Three times emptied into other hands
My babies wet on my chest
Their slippery skin
Under my lips
Salty sweet

In a moment’s scent,
The rush of life returns;
Now only barn birthings,
Yet still as sweet and rich.
I carry the smell of damp foal fur
With me all day
To recall
From whence I came.
I floated once
And will float
Someday again.


Emily Gibson, MD is a mother, farmer, and doctor.
Read more of her work at http://briarcroft.wordpress.com.

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