Sunday, July 12, 2020

Teenage Mothers

Years ago, my husband and I provided room in our home
for unwed mothers...

Photo credit:


I came across a pair of blue baby booties

Funny how the mind holds on to things
then whisked me through decades
back to when I was in the hospital
maternity unit labor room, coaching
my foster daughter, Lisa, in Lamaze
because her boyfriend’s mother
wouldn’t allow him to be with her
when the time came
for their baby to be born

When the doctor arrived
to examine her, I stepped out of the room
A nurse approached me in the hallway
to say there was another teenager
in active labor in the next room
She was overwrought and afraid
Would I sit with her a while

LaShanda was alone, struggling
to bear the labor pains
crying and truly terrified
I can’t remember what I said
to calm her, but do recall
my being there had a quieting effect
We engaged in small talk
between her contractions
She told me her mother had to work
and couldn’t be at her side

Taking hold of her hand
I offered to say a prayer for LaShanda
and her baby. She agreed
so I softly lifted them up to God
for a safe delivery
and a healthy baby
and peace
then I wished her well
and returned to Lisa
who gave birth to a son
a few hours later

In a few days
when both girls were preparing
to go home with their newborns
LaShanda appeared in Lisa’s doorway
She smiled as she handed Lisa
a pair of little blue booties—

These are for your Joey, she said
My mother crocheted them
for him, last night

We are so grateful
for the labor room visit
and the prayer

Maude Carolan Pych

[1] The story in this poem is true, but the names of the girls have been changed.

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