denise levertov: mother + poet

the poet is in labor…

it has hurt so much that pain and struggle seem, just now, the only reality.

but at the very moment when she feels she will die, or that she is already in hell,

she hears the midwife saying, “those are the shoulders you are feeling now”

–and she knows the head is out then, and the child is pushing and sliding out of her,

insistent, a poem.

from “The Poet in the World”

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