I’m pregnant with beauty, fresh from the forest, the field, the swallow that flies and never lands. I’m pregnant with words rising like geysers, thermals, rivers, whirlwinds, shooting stars. I will kneel here in the veld, and we will give birth together. The world is pregnant and close to giving birth. I am not separate from the world. I’m expecting heaven-and-earthly fragrances, wild geranium, damask rose; I’m expecting my voice, beautifully haggard. You lead me by the hand to a bed of moss with a rose pillow, and stroke my forehead. I am safe, I am so very safe. How did I conceive, how did I get pregnant with beauty, Mother? You stroke my forehead and tell me to ride the contractions, that our time is soon.  

Julia Casciola ©