The Mother Glory 


We were all at home last Friday,

my two children and I.

My son Tyler, who is now 9, had a stomach ache and napped all morning

on the couch.

(If Tyler naps, he’s definitely sick.)

I built a fire in the fireplace to keep the living room warm.


On the other couch, my daughter, Viola, fell asleep on my chest—

now 15 months, it is reminiscent of the days when we counted her age in weeks.

I was able to slip out from under her,

allowing my two children to sleep on parallel sofas.

I worked in the center on the floor, my office.

When my son wakes, I ask him if he needs anything

(sore tummy and all).

He says, “Just your company.”

This is the mother glory.


Like when I tell him I love him, and he shouts back,

“I love you more!”

Like when we’re walking side by side, just another day, and he says,

“You’re the best.”

Like when he comes in to snuggle in the morning

like it’s the best part of his day.


The mother glory with a 15 month old is less verbally punctuated.

It’s when I lift her up for the nighttime ritual and her head immediately

finds my shoulder.

It’s when, with outstretched arms, she beckons me to bring her down for breakfast,

our special time.

It’s when we all hunker down for our afternoon nap in the big bed.


At three years and seven years and eleven, my life is punctuated by moments of

mother glory.

The rest is just waiting.

First Labor   (12/20/88)


Shake this baby out

With love

And strength


Walk and moan

Breathe and bend


The vibration you hear between

your legs

is your baby, singing.


Dance the labor dance

Let the water flow

Let the fire burn


We are here with you.

The journey is yours.

Yet, we are willing to be your guides,

your walking stick.


Push and move,

You are as strong as a bear.

I love you.

You are beautiful.


The baby arrives, finally.

We are between the worlds.

We hold our breath as the child takes its first.

Wordless wonder.


Blessed are the Births

For Tara— the mother of goddesses


Blessed are the births

of those who trust life,

of those who trust the babies,

of those who trust themselves.


Blessed are the births

of those who are willing to stand

at the precipice of life,

acknowledging our vulnerability,

and the uncertainty of tomorrow.


Blessed are those that stand at the edge.

Blessed are those that call out to the universe

in celebration

and wonder

despite the fear of falling.


We embrace the edge with arms outstretched.

From here,

we see out to the horizon of possibility.


A strong gust of wind could knock us off balance,


our feet

firmly planted

can hold us in place

facing the truth.


Blessed are the births

of those who trust life,

of those who trust the lessons,

of those who trust within.


Blessed are the births

of those who stand together

of those who are willing to stand alone

of those who call birth: peace

and hope

and love.


Blessed are the births.

The Midwife at La Danza and the Dance Performance


Cynthia invited me to La Danza,

in her honor,

in honor of her coming baby.


I found myself recognized—

la partera,

an honored position in la comunidad.

I was a little surprised.

I am not always recognized,

more behind the scenes,

the quiet rock in the corner.


But here I was, honored, and as such

I willingly took my place in the circle.

Cynthia spoke of the strength 

and family that is this

circle, this community.


Midwifery is my doorway.

I am welcomed by the culture, the drumming.

The drum so loud that it truly is the pulse

of the Mission.

The drum so hypnotic that it puts children

to sleep.

I am welcomed and honored by the tradition

and the people

and the calling.


Kira invited me to her

dance performance

at an art space on Divis.

I am eager to see

Full Belly Dancing.

Authentic and unique,

word expression/life translated into

gesture and motion.

Shoes dancing, coats hanging,

Telling story

of complexity

and life.

Intimacy and



I disappear in the crowd, yet I am not the only one here

to see Full Belly Dancing.

Midwifery is my window.

Full belly swirling,

full belly swaying,

with the one who walked before you,

the one who walks beside you now.

A crazy, beautiful, extraordinary piece.


Midwifery is my doorway,

my window,

my invitation.

I feel lucky and blessed for the glimpses

of richness and beauty of life.

The glimpses of the community and the invitation

to join the circle.

My position,

the rock in the corner.

A cornerstone.


As I anchor you,
I anchor myself.

For Roweena and Skyla

The Mayan Goddess births her child

face first.

Head on into the world, facing her fears.

Mentum posterior— a position that is, supposedly, not humanly possible.

But she’s a goddess, you know.

You birthed your baby
face first.

Head on into the world, facing your glory.

Mentum anterior— with chin up,

the right way, they say.

She must have been as flexible as you in those moments,
your daughter that is.

You birthed your baby regardless,
facing life, in your own way.

She came facing life, in her own way,
with her chin up,
ready for the happy, unpredictable chaos.

To Madeleine, on the important matter of your birth:


You were born on an ordinary day—

Your arrival making it extraordinary.


With your father’s determination,

“we’re going to make it through the night…”


And your mother’s will power and trust,

Opening, opening, welcoming your arrival.


I was your midwife,

Invited by your parents for the most wondrous event.


When I arrived, I observed,

With pride and admiration—

All laboring with full acceptance,

Joy at having come so far.


We moved to the hospital where

Water was a familiar friend in the crowd.

Your mom, in deep meditation

In a tub-turned-holy-vessel.

Water flowed over and over the belly.

Contractions pulled over and over—

Until you were ready.


The door opened.

With heroic strength, your mom pushed you into the world.

Amazon power and soft kisses tender.

You arrived.


Lusty cry and outstretched arms

To parents

Hopeful and waiting,

Eager to know you.