Weekly Write: “Birth Mother” by Michelle Dobbs

Birth, Mother

“I drew my first breath,
went back to work the next day,
walked through the threshold,
and never came back.”

– A Figment Of My Imagination

September 19th, 1990
I drew my first breath,
in a room full of strangers.
No one there wanted me.

I was purged,
as if my mother was absolved from me,
as if one night stand was rewritten to just one night,
as if she was pure again,
after the umbilical was severed.

My mother,
went back to work the next day,
I was hours old.
She left,
and never came back,
for me.
I rendered her breathless.
I knew nothing,
of breathing,
just that it had to be done.

I dreamt of it as if I remember
seeing her
get out of the hospital bed,
put clothes on,
tie shoes,
kiss my forehead goodbye,
she                  walked through the threshold
not my mother,
just a passerby.

That day,
I breathed in all the goodbyes I could ever need.


Michelle Dodd is a spoken word artist based out of Richmond, Virginia. She has performed for TedxWomenRVA in 2016. She is a fellow of The Watering Hole Writing Retreat. She was a member of The Writer’s Den Slam Team in 2016 and 2017; a team placing among the top teams in the USA. Dodd has been published in Whurk Magazine, K’in Literary Journal, The Scene and Heard Journal, SWWIM, and Wusgood online magazine. She has self published two chapbooks of poetry in 2017. She is one of the coaches, for the Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) CUPSI slam team for 2018, that placed 3rd internationally.




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