Under The Red Tent

Under The Red Tent

A Poem by Marie Harrison

A birth poem





















Under The Red Tent

The seasoned

Midwife’s pinnacle

Moment had come

She took her place on

The birthing bricks

Under the red tent



After years of waiting

Rachel’s passage into

Motherhood was finally here



Death’s ominous black shadow

Was present in the tent

Would he turn

To greet her

Or turn his back

to walk away?



Two of her loving mothers

Zilpah and Bilhah

Kneeled to her left

And to her right

To provide solid support

For Rachel's balance

So that she could securely

Stand on top of the bricks

While bearing her full

Weight on them



As a loving mother

Leah sat in front of Rachel 

To coach her

And to help guide her

Baby from her belly 

Through her womb

So Leah could catch

The infant when it dropped

From its birth canal



Rachel's contractions

Were getting closer and closer

All of her mothers

Were cooing and

Praising Rachel in

Between her contractions




The Bondswoman continued

Wiping Rachel's sweaty brow and

Offering bread soaked in sweet wine

To help strengthen Rachel





While Leah applied 

Soothing oils of mint

To ease in the

Birthing process




Hours of contractions

Had passed  but no birth yet

Poor Rachel was exhausted

Leah paused to carefully reach inside

Checking the position

Of the baby




Broad shoulders of the baby

Hampered its exit

But Rachel’s contractions kept

Coming more and more frequently




As Rachel’s pain intensified

She shrieked

Sharp cries that

Shook the earth

Forcing grown men

To shudder and tremble

As they restlessly

Waited nearby




“I need the knife!”

Leah requested

After she

Placed a cloth of

Fresh wool into

Rachel’s mouth

For her to bear down on

For her pain

As she bravely

Stood on her

Birthing bricks

Her flesh was cut

On both sides

Of her birth opening

For an easy passageway

For the baby





Into the wool and

Exhaling Rachel 

Made her final

Big push




With a great sense of relief

Rachel cried as her baby

Fell like ripe, plump fruit

From her womb

Into the bloody but open

Arms of Leah

Rachel’s own

Birth mother



In the next few weeks

With plenty of sleep

Fresh herbs

Warm ox broth

And much healing

Rachel 's health

Would soon be restored




 When Baby Joseph

Was born that day

Joy consumed

The blessed tribe

Life was fresh

And renewed

Under the red tent of Jacob






© 2011 Marie Harrison

Author's Note

Marie Harrison
I've been reading the book The Red Tent by Anita Diamante. I was surprised while reading their technique of birthing back then. I wanted to share my vision of their moment.

My Review

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Nice story! good imagery! and good use of literary devices. I must say that I enjoyed this piece but i just felt like it was going on and on because its in a poem form when its a story ,or idk if you're trying to mix them but yeah, it felt longer than it is, significantly.

Posted 9 Years Ago

This was really good, this mAy sound wierd but Is a complement...it sounds like jesus

Posted 9 Years Ago

what a wonderful vision! and beautiful description! i agree this is great!

Posted 9 Years Ago

Love the imagery you put in this poem! You've got me intrested in the book you're reading! Great poem!

Posted 9 Years Ago

This is great! I was caught up in the whole process as I read!

Posted 9 Years Ago

I was deeply moved.
This is priceless.

Posted 9 Years Ago

A good story/poem and who knows how far from the truth this is, really well written

Posted 9 Years Ago

This is so unique. I've never read anything quite like it.

Posted 9 Years Ago

This is so beautiful, it brought tears to my eyes! I LOVED IT!!

Posted 9 Years Ago

yikes...thank goodness for modern medicine...you penned this well...

Posted 9 Years Ago

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43 Reviews
Added on January 24, 2011
Last Updated on January 25, 2011
Tags: Ladies of the Red Tent, Biblical Birthing Practices, Jacob's Rachel Giving Birth To J


Marie Harrison
Marie Harrison

Atlanta, GA

Momma told me to get out and enjoy life, so now I'm going to dance. more..


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