A Poem by Jean Valentine




Slowly I crawled following for the far opening
in the long fabric tunnel
snaking over the psychologist's basement carpet.
This is what birth was like, I thought--
I couldn't see out the sides--
though I was dry, and tough, and not held or propelled
by someone else's body,
only trying to follow the turning body
up its stem to its burst--
But what may have been like my birth
(she said): I couldn't
find my way out. Only butt and butt my head
against the breathless cloth, new swathes of first-death.