The Ancestral Wombyn

I will always remember the tug-of-war

split me into the dam that ushered in

my children; the women in my family

have felt this pressure

squeeze between their thighs—

diamonds have bled this way.

My children used to feel me humming

in the stories passed down

like scripture. Now I weep

in the bones for them, language inaudible,

my pain translated into silence—They forgot

what I've gifted them, don't know that I've

always birthed free children

by way of my figure, curves of a

drinking gourd, my babies

a genesis every time.

But now I witness them loosened at the limbs,

scattered across the pavements, shoved into caskets—

every flower plucked from me like a casualty

a curse—

too many whiteflies in the dirt.

Whispers From the Womb

offers you the space &

realizes you will not be

the ritualistic breathing that ushers her into

a series of hallelujahs, never able to feel

the praise pass through her

watches you become the amen instead.

Alexandra Butler is a poet from Baltimore, Maryland who currently attends Virginia Union University and majors in English. She writes with the understanding that though there is a responsibility to carve out a space for love in her work, there is also a responsibility to candidly reflect moments that are at times painful to revisit.