Birth Be Still

By Heather Halcrow

You’ll know your time, they say,
women with their water-straddled hips
and sea-secret smiles.
Ride the pain, they say,
although their words are blurred.

How is it that the thought of this moment
stops their mouths at this retelling?
How is it that this myth is knotted in the
common bend of back and breast?

This story is written in our bodies.
I can only be given incantations to pant,
then set adrift in this unknown,

waiting for the wave of pain to wash
and ebb in measured breaths over me.
In the calm, I am tensed to bear,
braced for the storm that does not come.


About Heather Halcrow

Heather Halcrow lives in Utah,where she is a technical communicator. She received a bachelor’s in English from Utah Valley University. She was a finalist in the Writer’s Digest annual writing contest for poetry and was awarded the Edna Meudt Memorial Award for her chapbook, Floodplain. Her work has appeared in The New Era, Irreantum, and Touchstones.

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