113 Psaltery & Lyre: Trisha Kc Buel Wheeldon, “A Girl, Now Mother”


A Girl, Now Mother

Now she knows
What it is like to be pregnant.
To have her body stretch from the inside,
Making space for a new tenant
By tearing skin
Just enough to make discolored rips
Like the stripes of a watermelon,
But not enough to bleed.

Now she knows
What it is like to lactate.
To have breasts like powdered jelly-filled doughnuts
Tightly packed into her bra
Needing talc in the cleavage to avoid a rash,
And the ache of milk surging through
Twisted straw veins.
To cry honey white tears from her chest.

Now she knows
What it is like to be in labor.
To have her own body wring her out,
Gushing amniotic fluid, blood, and sweat,
And not caring that she is naked with the door open
On her hands and knees above the hospital bed
Saying the loudest prayer of her life without knowing it.
To believe that all she is, and all that she was ever meant to be,
Is a banana skin peeled up and off
To reveal that soft ripe baby.

Now she knows
What it is like to be a place, a location, a home.
To see that, besides a man’s tiny seed,
Every physical part of that little body
Came from her own processed nutrients.
To feel the growing fangs of the protective instinct
Telling her that she could bite the soul
Out of anyone threatening her baby.

Now she knows
About that secret love that occurs
Between a mother and child
Starting from the first kick in the organs.
This is the beginning of what she now knows:
Every breath she breathes, even a sigh,
And every beat of her heart, even when it feels broken,
Has double meaning and gives double life.


Trisha Kc Buel Wheeldon is a west coast native, but her current adventures have landed her in Eglin AFB, Florida with her husband, son, and daughter. She studied creative writing at Brigham Young University-Idaho. She writes both poetry and creative nonfiction. Her stuff has appeared or is forthcoming in Peaches Lit Mag, Segullah, Mothers Always Write, The Voices Project, Boston Literary Magazine, The Salal Review and elsewhere. When she’s not writing or making her kids peanut butter sandwiches, she loves practicing yoga and attempting to play the guitar. Connect with her at https://www.facebook.com/trisha.wheeldon, https://instagram.com/kcbuel/, and https://twitter.com/kcbuel.