At the end of another “unprecedented year”,
I am reflecting on all the chaos and fear.
The end is nigh, they say – earth’s gonna burn
If humanity can’t see this lesson to learn.
And yet we continue: daily rhythms and routines
Love and laughter, joy and grief – all that life means.
My year began with death; the loss of my mother
A complex relationship unlike any other.
But then came a granddaughter, a joy to behold,
Increasing family happiness one hundred-fold.
Chubby and grinning, especially clever –
For a child with a cleft, eating’s a special endeavor!
I sold a house and bought another by the sea,
Carried on wild swimming – drinking hot tea
On the beach with new friends and old
Feeling the benefits of the water so cold.
I learned to live with the crippling fear
Of a stray cancer cell deciding to adhere
To my liver…the shiver as I lie in the MRI
Imagining my kids crying as a die…
I learned to love myself again and learned to live
Each grateful moment that life deems to give,
I revelled in the joy of supporting mothers
And fathers and sisters and brothers.
Despite everything I continued to be asked
To be present at births with midwives in masks,
Using zoom I taught new doulas old tricks
And gathered in circles to talk politics.
I leaned in and learned, committed to growing
Because stillness is death and I need the flowing.
I talked Birth Rights and bodily autonomy,
The effects on the birth machine of the Capitalist economy.
I went on a demo cos I got Fucking Furious,
Protested against birth tinkering so spurious,
Stood up for midwives all burned out and knackered,
Got on the telly, talked to MPs, waved a big placard.
Despite covid and cancer, I stayed healthy and fit
All the births were gentle when the home fires were lit.
The mewling of fresh babes was my favourite tune
And walking home from the beach under the moon.
My kids are creative and happy, doing their thing,
Looking forward to 2022 and all it’ll bring.
A family wedding is heading our way
We’ll celebrate love on that special day.
So covid can do one. Cancer can scarper,
I’m living each moment with perception much sharper.
Each emotion bigger, each moment relished
Cos life is for living, all is love unembellished.