I’ve been told to trust you

that you will tell me
when it’s okay to twist
and lift and carry,
bear weight
when you’re ready to bend over tender organs
when to crouch and stretch the swollen places
when to curve protectively around them

you will be the one to dry up the milk
release the stitches from my mended flesh
pull the muscles inward again, strengthen

you will be the one who knows when to
lay fertile ground for new life
and when to let go

and when I can reach
upward and out
and arch,

I wrote this poem just a few weeks after giving birth to Joseph. In posting this, I am thinking about the ups and downs-- the awe I have for my physical body, able to create new life and give birth, and the sense of betrayal I have felt through Joseph's loss. Regardless of if you have given birth, how has your relationship with your body changed through your journey with loss, with trying again, with another pregnancy? How has your body failed you? What has your body accomplished?