Floating Downstream


First fluid
Flows in subtle stream
Gushes in sudden drench
Soaking, saturating,
No longer cushioned
Slick sliding forward
Following the rich river

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.

One thought on “Floating Downstream

  1. I’m basically a word person so I try to concentrate on words in my various comments and observations, but your blend of narrative and visual is so powerful here, Dear Emily, anything I might attempt to add would seem as dangling burrs. Despite my awareness of the “breaking water” process, I never had thought of birth as floating downstream. Ah, but your “job” is to make us think as we’ve never thought before. And, oh, how well you do that!!!


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