Womanhood and Infertility

Poem: If You Do Not Bleed You Are Not A Woman

The complexities of infertility

Photographer: Couler from Pexels.com

I stood in the shower,
let the blood pool at my feet;
was it time already?
Was my body no longer against me?
If I was just now becoming a woman,
what was I before?

A child,
a female child,
an almost woman,
a mule,
a “Rachel”,
a treasure without a name.

If I could not conceive,
if blood never pooled about my toes
on a random day in August,
would I still be deemed worthy? Perhaps.

When my in-laws ask, “When’s the little one coming?”
or, pleasant smiles are thrown
my direction at homecoming
or, little children swarm to ask
when my belly will grow, I know.
They see the age on my face —
they must wonder why I’m broken.

If I could not conceive,
if blood never pooled about my feet
on a random day in August
I would be deemed unworthy, perhaps
with a greater portion of pity —
this is true in any culture,
some simply declare it more loudly than others.

Writer. Mental Health Advocate. Literary Prize Winner. 📧: sylenejoseph@gmail.com

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