“23 Hours”


A close friend of our family had a difficult labor with her first child. The couple had prepared for the birth, as do most young couples, with classes and books and discussions with other new parents. However, little went as planned. After the ordeal was over, I offered this short poem as witness to the seeming battle that went on for nearly a day.

Hard Labor

You led us in a lockstep march

broke to take a rest

then plunged ahead

onto the front line.

We camped to wait a word from the field.

You and your mother struggled

she contracted

you advanced.

The battle plans gave way to actual terrain

rockier than scouting  reports

more treacherous than plotted.

Outcome uncertain

we longed for armistice,

combatants lying down

for a well earned rest.

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