I was feeling the pang of each contraction,
the muscle-clenching, grunting, hissing pain
and I couldn't stop to analyze my rage
I could only struggle, kicking the hands
supporting my knees, squeezing the fingers
I could reach, digging nails deep until I drew blood.
It wasn't cruelty, just the longing to survive
that made me fight so hard, and the need to protect
what was mine, what I had come so far for.
I felt myself drowning in the waters, something
Was twisting chord-tight and I felt frantic
reaching for him, my prize, and finding only water.
I woke up, there was no pool surrounding me,
just sweat in the small hollow between my breasts.
I saw sheets and coverlet all crumpled in a mass
and realized I had been kicking against invisible goads.
I looked for an enemy, to fear, to fight,
and found only another warm body in my bed.
Inhaled at the realization: I'm not afraid anymore.
I press palms in prayer. Close my eyes.