In Response to Baby Girl Asking Me If It Hurts to Give Birth

I did not mention the stitches.
The dry reptile skin stretched so
far it split down the middle.
The epidural I begged for
its needle an elephant tusk
lodged in my spine
that I couldn’t sit still.
How they numbed me three
times, and still missed at first
that I wished myself a ghost
a soft flimsy sheet incapable
of rending itself in two.
My Granny’s mama died
in a delivery room
and I don’t tell baby girl
that either. I don’t explain the mutiny
of our bodies, that I imagine giving birth
is rebellion
where we dare to die and live
at the same time, except now, people
are actually watching
the bones a riot, the flesh weeping
and gnashing its teeth. I tell her it hurt,
as some things do.
She doesn’t flinch.

Brittany Rogers is a poet, mother, educator, and a proud Hufflepuff. She is Co- Chief Editor for, a literary magazine which creates a safe space for urban writers. When she’s not looking at poems, she’s decorating things with glitter and dying her hair colors black girls aren’t “supposed” to have. She has work published or forthcoming in Vinyl Poetry and Prose, Freezeray Poetry, Gramma, 3elements Review, and Eunoia Review