Literary Mama writing about the many faces of motherhood
Placenta, encapsulated

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In the days
following the lotus birth
before the breasts filled with milk
and the mother wound stopped its hemorrhagic bleeding,
the baby had to be taken to the hospital.

No matter the water birth,
the colostrum,
the Ahimsa;

the bacteria prevailed.

And in the days
following the hospitalization,
when the mother became nothing more
than pistons and tubing and
a series of endless beeps and artificial nipples,
the father stayed home
steaming and slicing into the meaty
placenta
drying it like jerky,
sifting its fine rust-colored powder
into clear gel caps.

And in the days
following the funeral
the parents sat atop the barren
two-by-four patch of earth
with a bottle of Merlot
placing the capsules gently onto their tongues
and offering one another sips of wine.


Shannon North is a former bilingual education teacher turned writer/graduate student and stay-at-home mom to two children. This is her first publication.


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