Nostalgia: A Birth Mother’s Poem

The baby you were and the child you are.

Claire Fulmer September 08, 2014
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Preface: This composition is meant to encompass the duality of the infant a birth mother may remember, and the child as they presently are. It is intentionally vague toward the meanings of past and present, meant to emphasize how getting lost in nostalgia can actually feel like reliving.

A thousand wide scars remind me that you are real.

You are not the blonde-haired two-toothed show-stopper

that knows rice cereal and touches leaves.

You are not the strong stair-climber, you are not the clean navel.


I can’t decide if you even are, or if it’s a matter of were.

Time can’t think straight when it comes to you.

The past becomes the present, and the present isn’t real.

But you are; I have proof.


You are the shadow of a kick in my belly

You are the limb against my liver

You are the cannon ball of flesh

imprinted on to my rib, and eternity.


You are sleeping at the foot of my bed,

learning to use your tongue and knit your brows.

You are yawning, and you’ve never done it before.

You are my focal point as I change our lives.


You were a function of daylight,

you were the meaning of my heart.

But now, you are the space in my arms

and the subject of old photographs.


And now, to the child: as you are,

You are; you are real.

You thrive, and live, and you scatter joy

From your every hair and smile.

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Claire Fulmer

Claire is a birth mother and devourer of the written word. She habitually makes tea at all hours of the day, cleans on her own terms, and aspires toward a fulfilling career somewhere in media. She nurtures a hope for greater mutual respect and understanding for those in the adoption world. She also nurtures a hope that there are chocolate chips in the cupboard. Considering the odds, she feels confident neither hope will be disappointed.

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