Poem of the Week–Labor Pains

Labor Pains

Here they come again
…the labor pains…
only this time the rhythm is a loud
rock beat,
melting through the ceiling and
rolling down the walls,
as he packs
his baseball gear and jeans
and airline ticket.

From the center of a red-rimmed
August 21st
today stares silently back at me
and a university waits,
a world away,
to welcome him into new life.

I didn’t know till now
the toughest muscles I’d ever use
were not birth-hardened
uterine bands,
but the small tight fibers that lift
my mouth into a smile
and force my fingers
to let him

by Virginia Hagen
Pioneer Branch, CT


  1. Brandi Warden says:

    Wow. Powerful. Crying.

  2. Well done.

  3. Barb Whitmarsh says:

    With University done with I now had to open hands and let my son off to war – one yr Iraq one year Afghan. A real bummer. Opening hands to let go is one bummer.
    Moving piece you’ve written.
    St. Louis NLAPW

  4. I love this poem, “Labor Pains.” It is entirely accurate and true!

  5. Gene B says:

    Strong, evocative poem. Thanks for publishing.

  6. This poem reminds me of why it is important to have women’s voices included in the arts.