Below is some poetry written by Laurel Jessup, a midwifery student who we were lucky enough to work with for a few months this year.

“Poetry inspired by my time at TBC and the amazing women I had the honor of working with. Thank you for all that you have taught me.”  – Laurel Jessup



discovery of how you found your way

as you enter the sisterhood of mothers

you should be proud

how you carried your body

wore your skin

surrendered your self

joy emanating from every part of you

the water moved around you

as it moved through you

now mixing with sweet salt

running past deep brown eyes

streaming down flushed cheeks

your hands explore

the new geography of this body

curve of shoulder length of spine

rise of chest falling gracefully

discovering untamed places

new wonders beneath your fingertips

what was once two in one

moved tectonically

new forms new shape

you will find your way

you are the way

you are the world

…. no matter how much you map, the exploring will never cease….


First of June calls to you

You, who will light up the night

Come out, dance, play

Dusk is falling gently

Thunder rumbles in the distance

Scent of soft rain on the wind

Making your way slowly

Twilight, tenderly calling your name

Watchful waiting

To be known, revealed on this day

Illumination spilling into the world

To big for mothers mason jars

Abundance of childhood memories

Legacy of laughter and joy

Your radiance announcing delivery of night

Welcome little firefly, welcome

Little Bud

lightning flashed

the count until thunder clapped

how far off was the storm

plants thirsty for rain

ears eager to hear

your first cry

closing the distance

thunder coming closer

contractions coming faster

as the sky released

your mother opened

earth and body moved by rain

little violet

how you blossomed

in this summer storm

From Russia with Love:

Solitary and silent

Upon a starch white sheet

Stainless steel frame

Her hands grasped

As the pitocin flooded in

Nurses bustled past

Eyes downcast

Away from faces

Thoughts lost in lanolium

Women moaned

Women called out

Cries united them

Kept spirits teathered

To numb bodies bound down

In the barren ward

As their burdened bodies

Were harvested

This is how a child was born


No longer constrained to a continent

Away from your love

Son and husband now adoringly

By your bedside

Yet the animal within

Wants to be alone

Wants the safety of shadows

To stretch and groan

Melt into the matrix of water


Your face softens to touch

Milky ivory skin

Flushed at cheeks bust belly

Your hands grasp mine this time

As we ground you

Welcoming you back into your body

Candlelight licks at the walls

You rock your hips in innate rhythm

As body and baby burrow down




Safe in your watery nest

You know its time

Your lover appears

Never having seen you this soft

This strong and knowing

He weeps and the tears roll silently

Down his cheeks as he strokes your hair

The nurse enters

All eyes are on you


As the birds begin to sing

Your cries greet them

As the morning dawn beckons flowers

To release tight buds

Drawn up from the safety of night

Following inherent wisdom

And gentle voices gentle hands

You release and open

This is how a child is born

Summer Solstice: Sons Shoulder

june 20 23:09 2012

astronomical events

solar  standing

breath holding

the sun at its highest excursion

longest day of the year

i reach for your shoulder

you are not there

deviation from celestial equator

midpoint of summer

center of integration

amalgamation of strength and beauty

son and soul enters

stand still in declination

i reach for your shoulder

you are not there

fusion of awe and fear

seasons turning

mind racing

hands moving in relative velocity

informational rotation

is not perpendicular to this orbital plane

i reach for your shoulder

you are not there

maximum inclination astral zenith

procession of equinoxes

deviation of entry

into the tropic of cancer

winter at maximum remoteness

polar night at antarctic circle

i reach for your shoulder

you are not there

helical divergence from set space

heavenly bodies seemingly idle

atmospheric refraction

difference hardly detectable with indirect viewing

longest moments of my life

change in rotation

4 minute decent into winter

you have arrived 

is this written in the constellations……


As the rains came

The babies nestled in

Deep within their mothers wombs

Not ready to trade one

Water world for the next

I lay awake at night

Not ready to give up

Wakefulness for sleep

Listening to the crickets

And the rain

So many babies in my future

But this night they

Do not call my name

This night the phone

Does not ring

And I find myself opening my eyes

Peering into tomorrow

Maybe today will be the day

A birth day

But the drought seemingly continues

Despite the ground beneath

My feet so satisfied

My hands and heart

Thirsty for more babes

This last poem I wrote after I arrived at TBC and was reminded why I wanted to be a midwife….thank you all for so much that you shared, taught, and reminded me of….

With Woman

I thought I might have lost you

the connection between

severed cold empty


I could no longer feel you move in me

the time slipped

quiet heavy dark


I did not see you nor me looking back

in the reflection from the mirror

hallow distant unfamiliar


Were you really gone I asked myself

the answer veiled

deep still silent


My tears raged

a summer storm

thick hot wet


No proof that you were truly gone

no stain upon my sheet

blatant honest concrete


I told myself it was for the best

you deserved more

sacred unknown strength


Alone in my bed

hand on my belly

desire adrift wonder




Subtle movement from within

flurry of birds wings

rebellious  powerful  balanced


Your still here…

safe deep within

humble ingrained eternal

Body, joy flooded desert wash

time of riparian

fierce astounding lush


Was it the smell of cinnamon

that called you home

warm caring compassion


Was it the long for touch

pulsing through my veins

craving gentle kindness


I will continue to carry you

to give you life

nurture tend admire


I thought I might have lost you

but now I know

interminable centered grounded