Tamed: A Poem About Wildness

Tamed: A Poem About Wildness


I am in labor.

And I am scared.

And I am terrified.

And I can’t seem to think

Or stop thinking

about how this baby is going to

have to come out of my body.


I breathe through the contractions

Or the contractions breathe through me.


Control and Surrender

are locked in battle

each with a plan to destroy.


And I tell myself,

I can do this.

I will do this.

The doing is being undone.


And I wait

And I breathe.

And I move

And I cry.


And I feel this volcano

Wanting to erupt

From somewhere

Inside my infinity.


And my labor stalls.

And my midwives are scared.

And I go in.

I dive into the deepest part of myself I know.

And I turn myself inside out.

Nothing is recognizable.

Nothing makes sense because





And then my mother, with tears streaming down her face, screams,

“Think of all the women who have gone before you!”


But I do not need to think of these women.

Because I feel these women.

I feel these women standing around me.

I see a woman, alone, in the woods scared and bloody and in her final pushes.

I feel the woman who did not choose her pregnancy

But is now choosing her birth.

I feel the women who know what this moment is.

And know what it is not.


I feel the women whose quiet strength is lingering in the blood, in the tears

In the waves of the contractions.


I feel them telling me to dig deep.

Deeper than deep.

To allow the volcano of mama earth to part me like the red sea that I am


And becoming

And becoming

Right now.


I look into the eyes of my midwives around me

And they know what this moment is.

And they know what it is not.


And they are telling me to push.

Do not push like a scared girl.

Push like an animal.

Push like the woman animal you are.


And I realize in that moment

How tamed I became.

I realize that this death/life/birth

Is birthing me my animal.

Right here in the blood

In front of near strangers.

I am becoming

And becoming

And becoming.

Right now.


All the conversations about this moment

Flash before my eyes.

All the fearful stories of birth

That told me to take a drug

Because the pain is primitive

And the pain is unnecessary

And the pain is unbearable.


And the pain IS unbearable.

I did not know you could still be alive

After being in this much pain.

After feeling this much pain.

After holding this




How is my heart still beating?

Surely it realizes,

this battle is going to be lost.

We are losing.


We are losing this battle.


I cannot know anything

In this moment.

This moment is empty

And dark and uncertain

And infinity, again.


But in this dark of dark

When I have no more thoughts

In this dark of dark

When I’ve lost all energy for clinging.

I start to feel that this pain

Is my only teacher.

I start to understand

This pain is not the pain of death.


This is the pain of life.


This is the pain of life

Opening me into itself.


Holding me in the curves of her breast.

Alone we are together in this moment of



I realize that I have never known anything

Like I Know this moment.

And I am not scared.

I am fierce.

I am fiercely becoming.

and becoming

And becoming.

Right now.


I realize that this moment

Means I can never go back.

I will always now see the tamed.

And I will not be able to un-see it.


I am split open wider than the moon.

I am split open wider than the grand canyon.

I am split, itself.

I am vaster than split.


As I part

Into this love

Break into this pain,

I look around

And nothing has ever been this clear.


I look around

And nothing has ever looked this Sacred.


And I look down.

And see my son.

And I know where miracles are from.


I look down

and see my life.

His life.


And I want him to know.

That the taming

Is the death.


And that the pain

Is not the enemy.


And that I do not wish for him a painless life.

I wish for him a wild one.


And in the brambles of his wild life

I want him to meet his animal.

And to know he doesn’t need the drug.

Because although he will not give birth

He will give life.


And I wonder why no one told me?

Why did no one say?

That the pain of birth

Was necessary.

That the pain of birth

is nature’s wisdom.


Why did I only hear about the pain?

Why did they only know the pain?


And I wonder about later,

About when a women is asking me with scared eyes


is it …



I will take her seriously.

I will sense if she is really asking.


If she is really, truly asking me

that question.


And if she is.


will tell her.

I will not tame her.


And we will be split wide open,

Split wider than the sky,

To infinity and back,



Photo taken minutes after the birth

Note from Elisa:

I wrote this after the birth of my first (10 pound) son. This poem is not a moral stance on “epidural” or “drug-free” birthing, but a description of what I experienced and learned about myself and my son from that particular birth experience. My second birth was different (and also matched the energy and spirit of that baby) and I did choose to have an epidural. I am thankful I had the option and was blessed to experience both “types” of birth. They each taught me important lessons. Every woman, baby and birth experience is Sacred and unique regarding the Soul lessons that are working out.

The last thing women need is fundamentalist and rigid belief systems on what is right or wrong for their particular unique bodies/births/parenting. What we do need is more open space for all experiences to be welcomed and felt. I share this poem with the intention that as I share my own story it will allow others to do the same. I know that lack of support around the variety of birth experiences and birth trauma is incredibly painful. To begin to heal we often need to grieve the loss of our perfect or imagined birth and open to the Soul lessons intended to shape us into a fierce and holy state of Love.

I also share this poem because I find that the spiritual Soul birthing process (the embodiment and conscious incarnation of Soul) very clearly mirror the natural process of physical birthing (the Early, Active and Transition phases). This is true for both women and men. I look forward to writing more about this in the future. As we study and remember birth we remind ourselves that we are capable of more than we can rationally understand. It is always darkest before dawn.


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