Thursday, February 4, 2010

Tammy Sandel, Guest Poet

I do not write much poetry myself,
but I have plenty of friends who do.
Today I have the pleasure of sharing with you some poems -- about
childbirth, childhood, motherhood,
and eating what's put before you --
written by one of my talented friends:

Tammy Sandel
Certified Doula (DONA),
Poet, Prankster, Mom]

Postpartum Visit

Three days after I attended the birth as doula, I visited this new mother and her little one at home…

You hand me your sleeping newborn
And his warm weight thumps against my heart
Flying me back to when I held my own tiny son
(I hold him still, my lap overflowing with legs and arms and words).
Your boy works the indescribable magic
That brings motherhood and family and friendship to a sparkling point of light
That smells like new skin
And feels like truth.
Your trust helps me remember
That your child and my child
Breathe the same air
Gaze at the same sky
Reach out in the same emptiness
To nestle in a safe place.
And love from me is love from you
In an endless circle of women
Holding each others’ hands
And babies.

By Tammy Sandel, CD(DONA)

Tammy Knox Sandel is a birth doula in West Lafayette, Indiana, where she shares a home with her husband, two sons, and three animals. She works to notice, amplify, and celebrate relationships and connections through the experience of birth.

west side CVS

three moms are at the photo kiosk
smiling, nodding,
murmuring to themselves
as faces flash by –
baby-plump, gap-toothed, prom-bound
compact little squares of time

i know these
women on stools.
i got here first today
then sally from the blue room,
who used to greet me with a smile and read stories to my son
and kim, the master scrapper,
who helped me learn to PTO

we chat briefly, learn that all 3 of us know all 3 of us,
learn fast about important things:
a daughter’s graduating,
the boys are playing baseball,
good to have both kids at one school

as my pictures print,
i shop
for toilet paper, toothpaste, deodorant
and realize in beauty that I lost a greenbag somewhere
a tall man smiles and hands it over
“in the liquor aisle,” he replies
betraying my selection of
cheap and delicious red wine
oh well.

i finish, look forward to
with my 68 shots of science projects, easter outfits,
and spring break in chicago.
i am so proud to be “mrs. sandel”
whose order is now ready at the counter
who swipes her reward card
and pays the nice man who found my bag

i peek at the photos
and softly pat my own back
for doing this errand
releasing them from the camera
for noticing and celebrating
and chronicling these moments
of an ordinary
extraordinarily sweet life.

tammy sandel, april 28, 2009


Bon Appetit

On a quiet stretch of country
I see you down the road –
Patient turkey vultures
Looming like giants
above the wooly worms.
If you have to take your supper
In the middle of the street,
Get someone to come with you, right?
Enjoy the company
While you feed your young,
And accept the interruptions
with gratitude for the food.
Hunched inside your black housecoats
You meander and strut
Keeping watch
‘Til I’m close enough for someone to sound the alert:
“Hey ever-bod-ee!”
And it’s heavy lift-off in
Then you all just hang
Still and colossal on the fence
Waiting for the quiet
So you can go back to work
And clean your plate.

Tammy Sandel, September 1, 2009


Parting words from Tammy:
Learn things. Have fun. Do some good.

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