Years as a country doctor, in Alabama and in B.C.’s central interior, gave Sterling Haynes insight into the gritty reality of his women patients. He also fathered four strong, independent, amazing daughters—who are also a reflection of his equally strong, independent, and amazing wife, Jessie. When he sent me this poem, he wrote: “Until women take their rightful place in society and politics then wars will never cease.”
Right on, Sterling, and keep the poems coming.
Erupting burps, small volcanoes
early in pregancy, unique
sensations trigger a new era of
feelings and of the growth of
an impossible belly. Smells
change, an awareness of
a unique role and a new life and
of responsilities and emotions.
Developing a Mommy brain?
A wave of new hormones of love,
empathy, and milk making, baths
her brain’s convolutions of concern.
A maternal morphine is at work
from dendritic spines, a razor like
barb wire in the gray matter encircles
and protects her baby and herself.
Electrical connecting neurons fire off when
baby suckles, grabs at fingers and coos.
Yes, the Mommy brain of satisfaction.
A pregnancy brain , a multi-tasking
brain being built to protect, cherish, survive.
Emotions from the heart, endearments
for life- my babies: “the best thing that ever
happened to me.” Hold, rock and change
the diapers that never smell, cuddling infants in
the crook of arms for protection,
swathed in a blanket forever, a softening
afterglow of survival. You know, father
“My Mommy brain.”
Other poems by Sterling Haynes on Catching Courage: