Touch: The Journal of Healing



Becoming *

    by Brigita Orel

It took me longer than nine months

to calculate whether you’re worth more than

the occasional glass of wine I’ll have

to skip. And still, I’m afraid of the ties

that pull at my skin,

of my body becoming a stranger.

I try to envision the future

skulking in the vague shadows

under your tiny translucent eyelashes

that have the misfortune of being short like mine.

It’s going to be all right.

But what if I fail to teach you how to say no

and to laugh to get through the day?

What if I hand on all my bad habits?

The fears? My God, the fears.

These things are instinctual,

women know how to be mothers.

But not every child is a good child.

Whose fault is that?

There was no Star of Beit Lehem, just two blue lines

and the whispers of fear

like water hitting a hot stove.


like a branding iron on my hijacked body.

The nightmares of bleeding and cramps.

Not because I’m afraid to lose you,

but because of the guilt. Of that dark part of me

that hopes I will.

For I fear you coming into my life

because you being here

will be a constant threat of you leaving

(only the scars and flabby skin behind).

(That’s how you keep me in check,

a manipulator already in the womb.)

I do not want to know you for fear of a time

when I will not know you anymore.

I hate you for not giving

me the chance to remain indifferent.

I hate you and then

I love you some more although I know

that from now on it will hurt right down to my core.

© 2013  Brigita Orel

*previously published in Foliate Oak Literary Magazine

Brigita Orel has had stories and poems published in online and print literary journals and anthologies. She studied writing at Swinburne University, Melbourne. She lives in Slovenia.

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Touch: The Journal of Healing

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