NaPoWriMo Day Nine: Michelle Diaz – Journeys

Today we welcome Michelle Diaz with a prompt that could take you down many roads.


This could be a literal journey, or the journey of having a child, or birthing a new project.
How does it feel? What are your fears? Use the poem to explore your feelings around success
and failure, the joy of a journey. What’s more important, the outcome or how you got there.

A Birth Journey in Nine Movements

We are en route to Yorkshire,
I stir my latte with a pregnancy test,
it shows up positive,
all the waiters do the Macarena.
My mother finds a Clear Blue box in the fridge –
it is full of eggs.
We have omelette for tea.
The family has never been so together.

I am carried around by four angels
who guard my apple pip cargo,
pump me full of oxytocin,
airbrush the stretch marks.

My body wages war on vegetables,
organic and tinge of green are off the menu.
I am possessed by the Honey Monster,
only pear drops and Jelly Tots will do.

Three weeks to go and somebody has let the bathwater out –
oligohydramnios – the midwife tells me you’re shrinking.
The sofa becomes a wet grave I bury myself in.

The hospital – I have a bed with a bell,
Mr Doc says emergency caesarean.
We float round the room like balloons in denial.

Seven days go by – you are still not out,
despite Doctor Patel’s insistence,
despite the letter on serious yellow paper,
despite my dangerously high blood pressure.
I sense we are dying. I am probed silence.
You have been leaked information.
You are not coming.

C-section. They find you. I become Mummy.

The room breathes morphine, the women sweat.
I am in Tenko. The nurse has a moustache.
She withholds pain relief, wheels away precious baby.
A cold star rises above the saline drip,
guards the broken nativity.

My old skin lines the corridor,
the curt nurse picks it up.
Strangely, I cry because you are no longer inside.
Your dad closes the curtain in case they think I am depressed.
I’m not. It’s just that I will never again know such intimacy.

A Birth Journey in Nine Movements’ (published by ‘Under the Radar’ in 2018 and ‘Against the
Grain’ in 2019 in my pamphlet ‘The Dancing Boy’)

Michelle Diaz has been published by Under the Radar, Poetry Wales and numerous poetry publications both online and in print. Her debut pamphlet ‘The Dancing Boy’ was published by Against the Grain Poetry Press in 2019. She is currently working on her first full collection.

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1 thought on “NaPoWriMo Day Nine: Michelle Diaz – Journeys”

  1. An artist
    trying to do a self-portrait
    out of a vague image
    like trying to capture someone’s face in his lucid dream

    He dreams that dream again and again
    every time he dreams, he remembers his previous attempts
    and he continues to work out
    how that person looks like

    After a couple of times
    he’s finally aware of what he’s been trying to do
    he tries to dream that dream again
    The incomplete painting
    could be more vivid
    or fade away
    until what’s left is a black dot on a white canvas


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