POEM: Growing Days

After I surrendered my daughter, I lived in Chicago. I did return home after surrendering her but well, that did not work out for a number of reasons. I left home again. I stayed with an older couple that I was friendly with and was their nanny for a few weeks. I got myself a temp job and I began the process of enrolling myself in college. It still astounds me to this day that I had such a will to survive. I think I was fueled by anger and grief and sadness. I could not acknowledge what had happened to me yet I had to do somethign with the rage and I used it to get my life together (sort of). Oddly, its kind of saddnes me now to look back and see how resourcesful I was, how I survived. Could I have done that if i kept her? Or did losing her give me that strength and that will?

A close friend of mine, another first mom, was still in the maternity home. I waited for her to give birth and surrender her child and then we were going to live together in an apartment on the North Side of Chicago. We did. It was cool. Tough, but cool.

About the time we moved into our apartment, I started having horrible nightmares. Night terrors. I would hear a baby crying. Loudly. Over and over and and for hours. I would get up and search the apartment. Frantically, trying to find the baby.  My roomate would usually find me in the morning sleeping in the fetal position under the kitchen table. I would be thoroughly exhausted, not really having slept. I was in some sort of fugue state I guess. I know now it was reacting to the trauma of my daughter. Who knows, its possible she was really crying and through some metaphysical altered state I actually heard her.

At any rate, this poem was a product of those times. I remember going to therapy (I seriously needed some help) and my therapist had suggested writing about it.

Growing Days
dedicated to my daughter, I pray shes happy
by S. Bednarz, 1986


The pain is subsiding
Yes it is still there,
My daughter is crying
Yet she is not here.

I gave her away.
For someone to raise,
I gave up my rights,
To her growing up days.

I won’t see her crawl.
I won’t hear her talk.
I won’t see her stumble,
As she tries to walk.

I can’t kiss her wounds,
Or wipe away tears,
I gave up my rights,
To her growing up years.

I can’t tell her stories,
As she lays in her bed,
I won’t ever know,
The thoughts in her head.

I hope she’ll be happy,
I hope she”ll be bright.
And she doesn’t cry,
When they shut off the light.

I can’t teach her words,
When she goes to school,
I can’t soothe her heart,
When life is so cruel.

I can’t cheer her up,
Or fill her with praise,
I gave up my rights,
To her growing up days.

I hope she will know,
Inside of her heart.
That I never wanted,
For us two to part.

But I had to do,
What I thought was best,
I had to put her,
Ahead of the rest.

My ears hear the cry,
My eyes see the tear,
My daughter is crying,
Yet she is not here.

She is gone from me now,
I am lost in a maze.
Because I gave up my rights,
To her growing up days

POEM: Guilty

I wrote this poem when I was nearly 9 months pregnant with my daughter. She has seen it and I have published it elsewhere so I am comfortable putting it here. I am rather proud of it. Not that it is any masterpiece of prose, but I think it shows the emotion and pain of a lonely unwed mother. Thats what I was. I can still see myself sitting in the office where I worked typing this out on an old IBM Selectric. My typing was horrible then. Truly horrible.

Guilty
by S. Bednarz 03/05/1986


Lost and alone,
In a city, so strange,
Walking the streets,
Feeling the change.

Eighteen and pregnant,
A mother, unwed
Crying inside her
Too many tears shed.

Left home months alone,
To bear child alone.
Brought shame upon family,
Yet still yearning for home.

The days passing by,
Her body expanding,
Inside she cringes,
The world, so demanding.

Nine months of pain,
Nine months of hell.
What purpose it serves,
The Lord will not tell.

The child inside her,
She will not keep near.
She will pass it onto,
Someone else, out of fear.

She cannot support it,
She has no degree.
And things for the child,
Just aren’t free.

She knows what its like,
To grow up sad and cold.
Shes felt the pain,
And the tears of the old.

She’s not ready for children,
Not ready for life,
Not ready for motherhood,
So tired of strife.

The pain thats inside her,
Will not go away,
It will be buried and dealt with,
Some other day.

Her child will go,
To the parents, unknown
By giving it up,
Her love has been shown.

She prays that the Lord,
Will forgive her, her sin.
And allow her to laugh,
Her life to begin.

She prays that the Lord.
Will appear from above,
And tell her she’s guilty,
Of nothing by love.