Poetry Archive

Your Birth

we met in the  


minutes  passed  until              


in a morning already auctioning


       you were eyes    quiet

I held you        with my breath

my milk           would not let

like a sentence            death came young                               

       for you

my seed 

       you turned defiant

       sprouted towards sun

for a life

       splendid     and full

Thanks for reading! If you enjoy Raising Mothers, please consider making a one-time or recurring contribution to help us remain ad-free. If even a fraction of subscribers signed up to contribute $1 per month, Raising Mothers could be self-sustaining!

Support Raising Mothers

Filed under: Poetry Archive


Hecha en México, Norma Liliana Valdez made her way to California in her mother’s pregnant belly. She is an alumna of the VONA/Voices Writing Workshop, the Writing Program at UC Berkeley Extension, and was a 2014 Hedgebrook writer-in-residence. A member of the Macondo Writers’ Workshop and a CantoMundo fellow, her work appears in The Rumpus, Huizache, Tinderbox Poetry Journal, and the anthology Latinas: Struggles & Protests in 21st Century USA, among others. Her chapbook, Preparing the Body, is forthcoming in fall 2019 from YesYes Books.  For the narrative behind this poem, check out her essay, "Inheritance", in The Rumpus.