Poems & Essays

13 Jul

Before You Were My Child

General/Column 2 Responses

(For Micah)

Before you were my child
heaven draped you across my womb.
Your anatomy was copied,
from two imperfect beings
and became a deep crease,
bent in the middle of
a full size mattress.

You were curved like your
grandmother’s back,
as you rolled your sentiments into me,
inhale by exhale, by inhale,
and I exhaled a field of poems
and expressive masterpieces
into your laughter, your eyes,
the birthmark on your bottom.

You were a sky then.
Coarse coils of curls and Caribbean roots,
your movements jerked-
like Sunday’s chicken.

my “woody”
my “bambino”

you were always mine.

Before you were my child,
you belonged to your father,
and his father’s philosophy of soundless
You sat in my womb,
as an open door;
your movement was your only speech.

You were the breeze that snuck in
between the strands of my hair,
the thin threads of gray on your daddy’s chest,
a mirage of olive trees
I have always wanted to plant.

You were the tears rolling off the
face of your ancestors,
and a meadow of cactuses,
shaped like a guitar,

And when you untied yourself
from the cord that held us together,
you traveled
across an overextended passage,
above a beating heart,
smooth and sweet,
becoming a cloud wrapped in a velvety blanket,
pulling on my breast
commanding daybreak to begin…



Kay Bell’s journey with poetry began at the age of 12 with Japanese poetry, “Haiku’s,” then it traveled to Starbucks where she would scribble ideas and words on napkins that moved her to write. For Kay, a muse can be playing “trains” with her sons or watching marathons on the Food Network. She often says: “If it makes me cry, sweat or bleed it is worth writing about.” Kay, is earning an MFA at The City College of New York and lives in the South Bronx with her husband and two sons.

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Would you like to join the discussion? Feel free to contribute!

  1. Jessica Latham

    July 18, 2016 at 8:52 pm

    This is beautiful. I love your writing, and I love the tenderness of this piece.

    • Kay

      July 20, 2016 at 8:36 pm

      Thank you Jessica.


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