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  • Writer's pictureKristin Caynor

"The First Breath, A Cry"

#poetry #personal #writing

The first breath is always a cry,

A cry --

Of surprise,

Or of dereliction?

An aching, cold,

death-like transition.

When the cord to hold,

Is suddenly cut,

The first breath,

Filling the lungs up

Comes out

With terror,

And wonder too.


Because it means life,

And terror,

Because it must,

Be a cry


The Woman gasps her

Joyful birth --


In transition and,

The straining,




Hears her Son --

"Here's your son."

All your hopes made manifest,

Your life bound up in His

And your first breath, too,

Is a cry -- the first breath of the new

Always is.

Dear Earth Mother,

So eagerly waiting,

In birth pains, until now

Through pain and blood appearing,


Your Son --

And our Son too

He gives your first breath,

And our breath too.

In His --

All at once,

Everything that is


And cries "Holy,


This is the only,

Son of God"

Earth and human

Flesh and blood,

And divine life too,

Pure and uncut,

Cries out


"Elo-I, Elo-I

Lama sabachthan-I?"

Holy words in common tongue

The heart of God squeezed and wrung


To distill,

At last,

The first breath,

A cry.

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