In search of a poem to share this Friday, I came across this poem by a Filipino poet- Alice M. Sun-Cua. Back in the day, majority of births were done at home as assisted by the woman called the Midwife. She was the healer, the woman who knew the mysteries of birth (see Myra’s post on the Newbery Medal book The Midwife’s Apprentice). This poem is taken from the poet’s book: Chartered Prophecies and Other Poems. Poetry Friday is hosted this week by Random Noodling.
Midwife This is an arcane language I speak; to tell of a journey through dark centimeters mapping out landmarks of pulsing membranes, articulate the distance of passageways bony and prominent, deem passenger willful enough to navigate narrowing walls in every conceivable way. I am an accoucheur: a figure as old as the strange words I chant, holding the hands of women keening, singing through their tears. There is timelessness in what I do. To be midwife is to be “woman, with woman assisting,” witness to a daily renewal. It is to stand alone in an inescapable, intangible, interminable landscape. It is to wait until the birth of a song.