brittleeallen

So Does This (a poem)

So Does This (a poem)

A single tear
drips
on the bed
as I stare at the white wall we painted when I felt 
hopeful. 

Depression is a funny thing;
you don’t always see it coming.
But it comes
crashing
like those waves at the Outer Banks
that almost drowned me.
We laugh about it now, 
how silly I looked running from the shore.
But it scared me.

And so does this.
So does this.

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Heavy with the Weight of You (a poem)

Heavy with the Weight of You (a poem)

I’ve always been intimidated by poetry. Reading it sometimes makes me feel dumb and writing it? Goodness, I’m not sure I have any skill to offer up to a reader. But as I spent many weeks filled with many hours unable to walk postpartum, I started reading poetry. And this is why I now have a Google doc titled “Poems that are Probably Terrible”. I’m doing something brave here. I’m starting to share them—even the ones that feel a bit raw and untidy. I hope that they will resonate with a few of you.

I’ll be saving them all to a section here on the blog called “Poetry”. I’ve really enjoyed dipping my toe into this type of creative writing. I hope you enjoy reading them.


I sit,
cradled arms
heavy with the weight of something so
beautiful
breathtaking
unbearably precious.

My wrists ache under your body
and the joy your tiny frame 
has brought me.…

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Postpartum Bodies and Unordered Thoughts

Postpartum Bodies and Unordered Thoughts

Unordered thinking can creep in oh so quickly. If we’re not careful to take thoughts captive and discern if they have any truth to them, we will fall prey to the serpent’s lies. And it seems like women who are walking through the postpartum season are vulnerable targets for the enemy.

I’ve always been naturally thin. Girls in high school spread gossip that I had an eating disorder, though that has never been true. I love food. A little too much at times (which I guess can be a different type of a disordered eating). So when I found thoughts like “I’m so hungry, but I shouldn’t eat more spaghetti.” or “These cookies are why I’m still fat.” running through my head, it startled me. This isn’t who I am. I’ve never once in my entire life thought of myself as “fat.”

I’ve been scared to share this since being thin seems to disqualify you from being “allowed” to struggle with your postpartum body.…

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Blessings and Birth Injuries

Blessings and Birth Injuries

Every morning I wake up hoping that today will be the day I can walk again. I slowly try to lift myself only to feel paralyzed by pain. The once simple task of rolling over to get out of bed has become one that I dread every single sunrise. Once I finally make it out of bed and steady myself with a walker borrowed from a friend, I make the long, excruciating trip to the bathroom. My days are spent missing out on life from the couch or bed and not knowing when it will get better.

If you didn’t know, when our sweet William was born I suffered a birth injury. They tell me it could be weeks or months before my pain is gone. These days are real and raw and wearisome. I’ve heard the bootstrap theology—those who plead self-sufficiency and stoicism over their suffering.

JUST GET UP ALREADY.…

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And God Watered my Cucumbers

And God Watered my Cucumbers

Three days equaled two hours of sleep.
It’s the place where brain fog and emotions are high.
I’ve been staring out the window,
I need to water the cucumbers.

I sit in the chaise lounge,
Nursing through blood, sweat, and tears.
Latching sometimes takes hours,
So I can’t water the cucumbers.

My husband holds the baby,
My firstborn looks at me and,
I see the struggle with the change in the tears that roll down his cheeks.
I hold him as we cry together in the kitchen.
There are more important things than watering the cucumbers.

Holding onto the wall I walk down the hallway,
Pain lighting up my back, hip, and leg.
I fall to the ground and it’s there I sit a while.
I can barely walk.
I can’t water the cucumbers.

There they sit,
Leaves wilted and browning.
Their importance to me is bizarre.
I glance out the window and my eyes meet rain,
God watered my cucumbers.…

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The Storms that Flood the Fruit

The Storms that Flood the Fruit

Years ago, on a whim, I grabbed a bag of zinnia seeds and scattered its contents into the empty earth of my flower bed. A few weeks later, after I’d just lost our first baby at 9 weeks, they began to bloom.

The tall sea of flowers became a sort of oasis for me. Bright corals, deep reds, and unique pinks sprung up before my eyes singing songs of life at a time when death felt so close—so, within me. I cherished these blooms, clipped and gathered them to my heart like I would’ve the little one we lost. I stared at them for long moments, savoring the gifts God was giving me through them. Gifts like perseverance, remembrance, and abiding joy. 

That was six years ago and each year since I’ve anticipated the last Ohio frost so I can push tiny seeds into the earth and watch God work.…

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