We watch anticipating—
Either with fear and trembling,
Or understanding and reverence—
As the deliverers,
Wracked with rhythmic spasms,
Travel through the valley of death;
Carried on by the power of their love
For the new life that can be freed
Only with this travail.

And whether aided
By amnihook1 or Roman spear,
The rush of blood and water
From the wound thus formed,
Seems a necessary part
Of deliverance.


1. amnihook: a crochet hook device used to rupture the membranes of a woman in labor

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