Birth of a Daughter by Samantha Kolber

I birth myself anew

as I birth you, daughter.

I am me plus and minus the cells expunged

to create you, daughter.

You arrive, doll-sized, bright-eyed, a sponge

soaking up my milk—

more cells I shed to make you, feed you,

daughter. Am I the mushroom—

the fleshy, spore-bearing fruiting body

of a fungus, or are you? Or do we

form one as a verb? Do we mushroom

into this life, together, daughter?

I write this as you are away; we call it school,

though it is June and you are three.

I work, I write, I sit outside

in the sun, and I can’t lie: it’s delicious,

this time away from you;

it’s precious, as are you.

It has only taken me 42 years to realize

I am precious, too.

From chapbook Birth of a Daughter coming from Kelsay Books, Sept, 1, 2020.

Image: Tabitha Turner (Unsplash)

Samantha Kolber has received a Ruth Stone Poetry Prize and a Vermont Poetry Society prize. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Mom Egg Review, Poems2Go, Tiny Seed Journal, Rise Up Review, Hummingbird, Hunger Mountain, Minerva Rising, The Meadow, and other journals and anthologies. Her poem “Year in Review Haiku” was featured on Vermont Public Radio’s Vermont Edition in 2019. She received her MFA from Goddard College, and completed post-grad studies at Pine Manor College’s Solstice MFA Program. Originally from New Jersey, she lives in Montpelier, Vermont, where she coordinates author events and marketing for Bear Pond Books and is the Poetry Series Editor at Rootstock Publishing. Her chapbook, “Birth of a Daughter,” is forthcoming from Kelsay Books (Sept. 1, 2020). Read and listen to her poems at her website,

Feature Image by Guilherme Reis from Pixabay

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