GIMH Carnival: Adoption Poetry

I like carnivals. I like writing prompts.  GIMH’s latest carnival is poetry.

I offer my poem titled “Guilty” written when I was an interred in the Gehring Hall Maternity Home. I have mixed feelings about this. Years ago, I loved it.  Now, the natural maturation process makes me kinda hate it. The religious influence, the loving act bullshit.  It just makes me feel sad. It was written in March of 86. My daughter was born in May.  I was pretty pregnant. Typed this originally on an IBM Selectric one day as I sat at work at St. Joseph Hospital…the hospital my daughter would be born and abandoned in.

But it is what I believed back then. It is what I was taught. What all around me told me. Oh,yeahhhh. Lotsa adoption koolaid here.

I offer it to you now. Drink up. And if you have the stomach, read more at my personal poetry/writing category page. Or start with Growing Days (written post surrender in the throes of one of my anxiety attacks) or perhaps my younger sisters offering My Sisters Eyes.

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 but love.

14 Thoughts.

  1. A) I stumbled this. People need to read it; both the poem as it stands alone and your revisiting of the emotions years later.

    B) Really, it’s a great piece of poetry even if it is filled with a bit of Kool-Aid. I think it speaks to both sides, really: the brainwashing and the fact that you acknowledged bigger emotions that you weren’t ready to deal with yet. Denial is a part of the process.

    C) I may find the courage to dig up a piece from when I was pregnant as well. I don’t know. The truth is that I’m *not* a poet though I desperately wanted to be. Oh, poetry.

  2. Thanks Jenna. I wondered who stumbled. Did not wonder enough to actually find out. LOL. Love our neat formatting of your comment too! : )

  3. Pingback: GIMH Carnival: Adoption Poetry « The Chronicles of Munchkin Land

  4. Your poem made me cry too. My first Mom was sent away from home and I never got to meet her, so reading thoughts from other first Moms really helps me. Thank you.
    I graduated HS in 1986 and still remember even then the stigma still remained for unwed moms, especially in religious circles. My heart breaks for you and your child. If I had gotten pregnant in HS or shortly afterward, my Mom made it clear that I would have had to give up my child, even as an adoptee. As I look back it brings up anger to think how livid I would be now if that had happened, to lose my child.

  5. The whole “grown in my heart” thing makes me sick. I do appreciate that the site welcomes input from mothers, but just can’t go there.

    I read the poetry you linked to — yours and your sisters — and wow, just WOW. I too was a young poet, but never ever wrote about my pregnancy, my son’s birth and relinquishment, or the feelings I had about it. I “coped” (ha ha) by shoving it down. I didn’t dare express it.

    Kudos to you, whether writing about it helped or not. And (((HUGS)))

    • Denise – You are not the only one that dislikes GIMH name. I believe I saw a thread somewhere Margie also complained and one of the site owners said they had thought about changing it but had some technical issues or something or other. I dont go there often. In fact, I generally only find out about their stuff through other blogs, like Clauds. It is just too, um, oogy for me at times.

      Yeah, oogy. That is a technical term. LOL.

  6. Yes, we were in the process of changing the name and I had major technical difficulties (actually had to reload the entire site). I’m just not a techie. If someone wants to volunteer to move our site I’m totally in on it. I’ll even hold a contest to rename it.

    • Marcie – Feel free to write me privately (see contact me details above). I would be happy to help.

  7. Love the name of the poem.

    Wow, I have been guilty for 42 years and counting! It is a wonder I can function somewhat normally. Or can I?

  8. When I saw what this post was about I had a hard time reading any farther even though I am a big fan of your blog and your very honest writing on the subject of loss. But this poem, this historical record written when it was actually happening – just too painful. I couldn’t read it. But I came back today and read it all the way through. It is such a true reflection of what we were all encouraged to believe.

    Like Denise I never wrote about any of this until recently. You are brave.

    • UM – Then I guess it was a good thing I did not post a photo of myself at that time as well, eh? (Kidding, but I do have one. I have the photo ID for working at St. Joe’s hospital).

      Sad reflection indeed. Amazing how generations apart our situations can be so similar.

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