Creation and Chaos: A Poem

Content Warning: Pregnancy Loss

Poems have a way of letting me know when they are ready to be shared, and this one had a bit of a longer gestation period than usual. But as I approach what would have been my first baby’s due date, it finally seems like the right time to share it. The picture below is of my 20-week bump with baby #2, but this poem is inspired by (and dedicated to) my first, baby Wren. I wrote the first half in January 2020, just after I found out I was expecting. The second half was written during a long, sleepless night during our loss in March. My theology has been enriched and enlarged by the experience of carrying, loving, and losing a child, and I hope these imperfect words can give a glimpse into that experience for those who have not known it, a bit of solace and catharsis for those who have, and perhaps, for those dissatisfied with traditional theologies of suffering, new ways of imagining God’s love in the midst of pain and loss.

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I wonder
If Genesis 1 had been written
Not by a priest or patriarch
But by a common, ordinary woman
If the creation of the world
Would sound less like a master
Giving commands to be obeyed
If it would sound less like God was
At a distance
Detached
A disembodied director’s voice
Commanding the universe to be and
Watching it happen from afar
If a woman told the story
I wonder if it would sound more like
Moaning and crying and shaking
As God’s pelvis spread apart
To make a way for a miracle
Because men think
They can give the word and it is so
But women know
That only by full, painful engagement
Can one create life

And I wonder, too
If the part where
It all went wrong in chapter 3
Was written by an ordinary woman
The one in four
If God might have sounded
Less like a strict disciplinarian
Disapproving and stern
And more like a weeping woman
On her hands and knees
Convulsing with labor pains
That bring only grief and despair
Wondering how she ended up in this nightmare
Of bringing forth death
When she intended life
Wondering if her body had
Done something wrong
Or if perhaps the world is just
A place of chaos and sorrow
Where things go wrong
Without cause
And the best that she can do is to
Create despite
And love regardless
Of the
Outcome

5 thoughts on “Creation and Chaos: A Poem

  1. I was having a good day for a change and now I am crying. BEAUTIFUL my darling granddaughter!!!!!

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