Broken Womb, Shattered Soul: Living with Infertility (part 1)

By Barbara Leonhard | Featured Contributor


As we grow and develop, we learn how to identify with many labels or roles, such as daughter/son, aunt/uncle, mother/father, and grandmother/grandfather, to name a few. It seems as though our stories are written before we are born to conform to these labels. In a way, these roles become rituals that comfort us as we agree to them and even expect our lives to go “as planned” based on our social codes and blueprints for survival.

I know I certainly expected my life to unfold much like my mother’s life did with marriage and family. She had seven children, and being the second oldest and oldest girl, I was able to help with all the babies she had. It never occurred to me that I would never be able to have my own children. Little did I know that my helping her at the ages of 9 and 10 with my youngest siblings would be my only times to experience at least part of what a mother does for her kids. I am not sure I appreciated this time because as much as I loved playing mommy, I also wanted to be with my friends.

Continue reading “Broken Womb, Shattered Soul: Living with Infertility (part 1)”

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Storm.

 

A yearning
as sirens of
autumn’s breath
whisper words
of anticipation.
A rhythmic contralto
an echo to the soul
a welcomed unrest
as the valley chants 
its familiar tune.

Mesmerized
is she as gleams
of heaven incensed
unveil a sight divine.
A prelude
as skies yield to
nature’s command–
a foretaste of the
promised cleansing
of her deliverance.

Simple Moments.

Meet little Mialy, Mia, and their father…known simply as Baba. They—along with 15 other siblings—made up my host family during a time spent in the arid region of southern Madagascar, where I was doing research on the Antandroy communities. 

I often think back to this family with bittersweet fondness. When I was there, I was profoundly inspired by their love for life and their appreciation of the simple joys it brings…while endlessly cheered by their wide grins and generous laughter.

But now, when I glance at this photo, their visage seems to reveal a truth much deeper…and my heart aches a little. 

Nevertheless, the sound of their laughter will remain with me forever, and I am thankful to have met them…and grateful for the lessons they taught me in treasuring the simple moments in life. 

ambarofamilyl

Departure.

Liberated
into the haven
of a mausoleum
lies a dove deceived-
its tattered pinions
a reminder of
a pledge riven,
a reverie tainted,

an innocence
betrayed.

Save her.
Let the shadows
of her present
console with
saccharine lies,
warm her with
tinned caresses
of boughs
freshly severed-
a revival of 
splintered promises 
of a new day–
as verdant hues
decay to dust.

Restored.

Immortalized
within counterfeit fibers
of a petrified forest
are your sorrows
weighed with silt,
swallowed by shadows
of its own valley,
silenced beneath
the porcelain surface
of a visage pristine.

Banish them.
Let your tears cathartic
burn
these cheeks of mine.
Scour them with scars
of an ancient past
of an ache relived.
Let me bear the dusk
until from the womb,
emerged pure as
the morning dew,
is a love renewed.

Deliverance.

deliverance

Caressed
by the hush
of a wayward tear
emerged
from flames
that once
scalded her eyes
is an innocence lost
a wistfulness retained
a longing diffused
within the brine
of memories.

Weighted
like the dew
upon a thorn
to the force
of an ethereal call
she surrenders.
With strengthened hope
through moistened gaze
down meandered path
she searches
until finally
upon her lips
does she taste
the bittersweetness
of her deliverance.

Metamorphosis.

Swathed
within the confines
of her tendrils
Cocooned
by the veins
of trepidation

the constraint
of knowledge

of an image
of that which
she was meant to be.

Achingly
she fights
sinews stretched
tendons taut
‘tween flesh and bone
Shattered
is her strength
Dissolved
are her fears
and the form
she once knew.
She awakens.

With wings spread, she flies away…

…and does not look back.

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