Earth/Side: for Gabriel
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Earth/Side: for Gabriel

Earth/Side: for Gabriel

Earth/Side: for Gabriel

decorative image of mother holding child

EARTH/SIDE: FOR GABRIEL is a mosaic of writings from 2020-2021 that I started weaving together after birthing my son, Gabriel, in November 2020. This piece began as a non-linear narrative about the time in my life leading up to his conception, through my pregnancy, and into the post-birthing cuarentena (40 days postpartum) and fourth trimester. As I was piecing these writings together to become a cohesive poem, it took on a more linear shape; this was happening alongside my internal processing of our birth story.

At the heart of this poem is the recognition of pregnancy as a middle-ground or liminal space between the worlds of conceiving (creation) and birthing (guiding someone into an earthly existence). Dar a luz (to birth/bring forth light) is a transitional state between inside/outside of the womb. Through the process of birth, the birthing person takes on the journey of guiding a new being from one phase of being into another. This poem is also about the passage of stepping into being a mama, about the shift in identity from my pre-baby days to understanding what it means to be a mama to a new baby.

As I was writing this poem, I was also thinking about how Gabriel was “transverse breech” (in biomedical terms), and despite my efforts to encourage him to move, he stayed in this sideways lying position (necessitating a c-section). While assembling this poem, I was surrendering the “perfect birth” narrative I had created by seeing that despite things not going how I envisioned, I brought strength to the beautiful ceremony of welcoming Gabriel.


Earth/Side: for Gabriel

Becoming into light/ness.

Weaving bones & muscle

Vessels & cells

Fabric of eternity

Water-Memory.

Preparing a place for you:

Aquí te espero.


I am in the garden with the golden light,

Your Baba

& I

Manzanilla, calendula, lavender, plumajillo.

I steep myself in ceremony,

& walk through the quiet months.


Looking for you:

Will you be familiar?

Will you be familial?


You, side-ways in your womb-like home.

Skin stretching my body of water

Held by river currents coursing through

ancestors—me—you:

Esperando oír tu voz.

Like what you’re reading?

Out-breath,

Ombligo rising above,

Emerging like hyacinth, like crocus.

Tides pulling gravity.

Water flowing from

Other waters

Everywhere,

Flowers singing:

“El día en que tu naciste nacieron todas las flores.”


Shifter of sleep/Your hair like feathers,

Your hair, wet.

Touching your face,

Skin silken like petalos de rosas

Tracing your head,

Knowing your scent.


My body-mind given for you.

My body imprinted with your shape.

Watching the stillness before spring again—

Red buds, their tender existence on maple branches.

The unfolding of my new identity:

Being, breathing here.

“Earth/Side: for Gabriel” as read by the author

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