The First and Last Kiss

The First and Last Kiss

A Poem by erik ewing

the story of my birth. or at least what I want to believe is the story of my birth.


The First and Last Kiss


It all started on March 12 1972…


A young faceless teen, scared and in great physical pain was wheeled into the Penrose Hospital just blocks from Downtown Colorado Springs.


When I close my eyes I can almost see her face, tears of pain both physical and emotional stream down her checks in a effort to be brave, while inside she wants to scream out like a freighted child who wakes up from a bad dream only to find themselves in the middle of another nightmare where their parents are not home and there is a deep and low growl getting louder from under the bed, she smiles a small but proud smile at the nurses who meet her at the door and take her into the hospital. She knows what the looks that they give one another are saying, they’re the same looks that she has had to endure for the past 3 months when she could no longer hide her growing belly underneath an oversized sweater and heavy winter coat, that look that is so universally simple and yet holds a multitude of judgmental thoughts.


“She’s to young to be having a baby”


            It wasn’t something that she had planned on, it was just the one time, she had always been such a good, upstanding Catholic girl, in all her years of parochial school she had never been called to the Deans Office, belittled by any of the stone-faced nuns that cruised the halls like sharks looking to give you detention for the smallest offence, in fact she had never even been grounded by her parents. And yet here she was, tears streaming down her face making dark spots on her dads gray sweatshirt that she borrowed from the hall closet almost two weeks ago, the searing pain of another contraction pulls her away from the image of her father handing over the sweatshirt, smiling with a pure yet somehow empty smile commenting on how “he should be carful about what he eats if his clothes are a perfect fit for a pregnant women”.  It was little jokes like that, jokes that stilled showed that despite the situation He still did and always would love her, even if he could never look at her the same way again. Her heart broke for the millionth time as she recounted the days and hours that brought her to this place, this morning, without him here, with out her father, her rock.

            The glaring florescent lights slipped by as she put her head back breathing heavily and staring at the ceiling. Noises coming from all around her; the clatter of plastic, the beeping of distant unseen monitors, and the whispered and hurried conversations of doctors and nurses. She comes to a stop just outside a waiting room directly across from a big desk where women in white gowns filled out charts and drank endless cups of coffee and tea. Looking into the waiting room she sees an elderly women wrapped up in an old brown wool coat rubbing her hands together in an attempt to both restore circulation and calm her trouble nerves, moments later a younger women possible her daughter takes the seat next to her and hands her troubled mother a Kleenex and rubs her back whispering softly in her ear. Her thoughts focus briefly on her own mother, thoughts that she immediately attempts to shut out but still see’s like a blur in her minds eye; a pale face, a cigarette smoldering between thin red lips, dark accusing eyes, and muffled shouts behind slammed doors. It is then that another contraction comes shocking the young girls mind back to the hospital ward… she has never welcomed the pain so much. Breathing in quick sharp gasps she notices a young boy also sitting in the waiting room staring at her contorted pain filled face, he laughs at first seeing this silly girl breathing heavy and grabbing her belly, and yet he also has a look of complete and utter wonderment, being a child and unable to feel such adult like emotions like pity and judgment he works up a small smile and waves at the girl in the gray sweatshirt. It is something that she has not seen in months and it causes grief and shame to wash over her making her physical pain something distant. She allows herself once more to wonder about the future, personality, and physical attributes of this child inside her, would it be kind like this young boy handing out free smiles and waves, looking out for the interest of others, finding ways to make the world a better place. Would this life struggling to break into a cold and unwelcoming world be strong and tall like it’s father or petite and shy like her.


And always the thought that she struggles with every time she feels the baby move; would it resent her for giving it up?


Moments later she is again on the move this time down a slightly darker and quieter hallway the overwhelming smell of disinfectant and human suffering has given way to something different, something more subtle, baby powder and warm blankets. The cold mechanical beeping of monitors counting down the last few moments of life are now gone and replaced by the soft sounds of joy and relief.

            Towards the end of the hall she makes a sharp right turn into one of the many rooms lining the hallway a thin blue curtain divides the room in two and projected on the curtain from a light on the other side she sees the shadow of a man standing over the figure of a women holding a slightly moving bundle to her chest. She hears soft words of encouragement and the repeated phrase from both the man and the woman


“He’s so beautiful”


After stripping off her clothes and given a gown to wear she is helped up into the waiting bed and told that a doctor will be in shortly to evaluate her condition before moving her into the delivery room. “The delivery room” those words hit her, they carry the weight of the inevitable, this was really happening, and she was going to shortly be in agony, and before that she was going to have a baby.

            She laid her head back on the thin pillow and pulled the corner of the bedspread over her swollen chest, remembering the way the boys at her school had taken notice of her sudden and impressive physical development, it wasn’t but a few weeks later when word got out, that the attention had turned to alienation. and not just from the boys, but from her girlfriends, teachers, and family she thought once again about overhearing her brother talking on the phone to one of his friends calling her a “common w***e”.  And fresh tears began to fall.




            Moments later two things happen simultaneously, the doctor enters the room and another contraction rips through her body, this one clearing her mind of everything but the white hot pain of physical distress, it is as if she has entered into a world devoid of anything but her, the pain, and the baby inside her, she hardly hears the words of the doctor ordering the nurse to get an orderly and take her to the delivery room. She wants to stop him to tell him that she is not ready yet, to tell him that she needs just a little more time, she can’t imagine that her last few moments with this child will be so violent and painful. There are still things that she has been hiding from herself memories and events that need to be resolved and the overwhelming need to have him here, why wasn’t he here, why would a father allow his daughter to go through this alone. How could just a few words of anger and frustration drive him so far away, she knew she should have told him from the start, told him that she was giving the baby up. In her heart she new this decision would break his. When he left she knew he would come back…he had too. But, here she was alone, moving down the same dark hallway much faster then before. Her bed sliding around corners, a large black orderly pushing it from behind, looking down at her and smiling, the same smile as the boy in the waiting room, a smile that spoke to her soul and said;


“shhh… everything’s going to be alright” 


The same words her dad had said holding her in his strong arms as she wept, her secret, her shame now revealed to him. Her face was deep in his chest smelling the essence of fatherhood on his gray sweatshirt, her tears making dark spots. 


“shhh… everything’s going to be alright” 


But things weren’t alright she was scared and alone she was to young to be having a baby, to young to be dealing with these fears and emotions she sank deep within herself trying to find a comfort for the pain, she prayed that God would let her fall into a deep sleep, she reached for the gold cross that had been a confirmation gift hoping that touching it would draw her closer to the divine, but in the hurry to get her into the delivery room it had been taken off and put in the bedside table. It felt as though she had been stripped of everything, left with nothing but pain and the knowledge that she would soon hear the cries of a child that was not hers. And again her thoughts reached toward the future, she had convinced herself months ago after the constant prodding of her mother, that the baby would be better off with someone else, that a couple unable to have a child of their own would take her baby and give it the life that she never could. But all those words felt so hollow now. 


As she was finally wheeled into a bright and sterile room, all she could think about was the hole that would be left inside her, the vacuum that would remain a constant reminder of her youthful mistake and the feeling of emptiness that would never be filled.


The next few moments were a blur of sounds, voices, stern and encouraging words reminding her to breath and push, screams, and the sting of sweat in her eyes, the feeling of being torn from the inside out, and yet somewhere deep in the trauma a sense of beauty and hope. It was if, just out of reach and yet somehow very present she could see the figure of God standing in the corner of the room, allowing her to feel the pain but to no longer being ashamed of it, yes, the circumstances that had brought her here were less then perfect, but what she was engaged in was. She was giving birth not to a mistake but to a child that was predestined to be a gift from God. Her pain turned from something violent and instead became a euphoria it was as if all the comments and judgmental words both spoken and perceived where simply a means to this glorious end, and even the absence of her father seemed to pale in comparison to the assurance that she was not alone and that she never would be, no matter where this child, her child, would end up they would always share a common bond a shared experience of entering this new world together.


And with one final push the burden that she had been carrying for nine months became a blessing.


She closed her eyes and thanked God for letting her be a part of this experience, more noises from the foot of the bed and then a cry, she breathes deeply and after a couple moments she opens her eyes just in time to see her babies naked form before it is swaddled lovingly by one of the nurses.


 “He’s so beautiful”


The voice is not hers, nor does it come from any of the delivery staff, but from the figure standing in the corner of the room. Her father walks over and gently takes the baby holding it close to his chest and comes over to the side of her bed. He hands the baby boy to his mother. She holds him, feeling the warmth of his body through the blanket, memorizing every dark hair on his head, burning this moment into her mind promising that she will never forget, that every moment she is on this earth that she will bear witness to the beauty of life, she closes her eyes once more and feels her fathers hand brushing the hair from her face, she says a quick prayer asking God for one last favor that where ever her son ends up and whom ever he ends up with, that he would never forget that there will always be someone out there that loves him.


 She then kisses her son for the first and last time.  

© 2013 erik ewing

Author's Note

erik ewing
this is part of a larger work called "I Was Here" that I have been writing for a number of years, it will hopefully be a gift for my kids someday when I'm old and senile and they're annoyed with me forgetting important details from the past.

My Review

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This was sweet and sad, but it could be tighter. It's a little rambly.

An idea, from the perspective of someone who has gone into labor (lol), maybe have her flashbacks and thoughts as she's breathing between contractions, and each contraction brings on a different thought.

Still though, very evocative.

Posted 8 Years Ago

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1 Review
Added on April 10, 2013
Last Updated on April 10, 2013
Tags: birth, love, pain, God, Fathers, Joy, adoption, teen