Part 2 : Women are Mothers
Women are born mothers.
Regardless of whether life forces its way out of us in sticky clumps.
We leak, bleed, weep, stain
even if we never have to spend sleepless nights in sweaty sheets nursing our stretched scars across our swollen bellies.
We leak, bleed, weep, stain in the hopes that one day we will.
Women are mothers.
Our sheets are soaked in drunken words and weed stenched promises.
Drenched in the conversations of the nights before. Sheets that we bleach to get the stain away. Sheets that we will be ashamed of, hide in the hope they don’t see.
Women are mothers to ourselves.
We had to learn that our bodies that leak, bleed, weep, stain and sweat could do more than provide.
That our peach fuzzed stomachs form little goosebumps when fingers run over us slowly. That sounds and words become hazy and syrup dipped when our necks are met with lips. That our bodies of many sizes, shapes, colours, would dip and curve so beautifully that we deserved to be cherished, adored, pleasured. We young girls crave flesh more than any of them. And when that day came, our bodies would learn that searing pain would turn to pleasure, pleasure to desire.
Women are mothers before they even heard the first painful cry, that would echo into the years to come. Our bodies are packed cars, waiting to be driven for 9 months, full of potential.
We become mothers when behind our shirts our hearts and chests begin to grow. We become mothers when we patch up our hearts, sewing it back up together with threads of promises they told us, only to snap again as soon as they’re mended.
We become mothers to one another when one of us is touched, smacked, kissed, groped without consent. We nurse each other's wounds in bathroom stalls, on the squeaky chairs in the police interview rooms. We are mothers when we walk our sisters to the chemist, doctors, to that appointment. We are mothers when we answer phone calls at 1am when our girls are walking home at night, keys slotted between their claws.
We are mothers when they never come back and it's us and the two blue lines. We are still mothers when we leave that room that smelt of your grandmother's medicine cabinet where they told you your body was uninhabitable. We are mothers when the liquid that leaves us is not clear, like we had hoped, but scarlett and thick.
750 babies were born in the time you heard this. Babies that were born from women leaking, bleeding, sweating and weeping. Whether we form smaller humans inside ourselves or we don't. Women will always leak, bleed, sweat, weep, moan, dream, beg, shout, hope, nurture, punish. Women were born to be mothers, just sometimes, not the type of mothers you want us to be, but the ones you need us to be.
By Ellie Softley.