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In honor of International Women's Day today, I wrote a poem to give voice to all the young, unwed mothers who are needlessly shamed and made to suffer all around the world….

The poem emerged as I was reflecting on the injustices and struggles women in Catholic Ireland faced, in particular in the 1930s onwards, if they became pregnant outside of wedlock.

In the 1930's, Mother and Babies Homes were established and in some cases pregnant girls spent years there after having their babies. The babies were then put up for adoption against their mother's wishes, and the knowledge of the babies births were kept hidden from those outside the homes, due to shame and disgrace.

In 2014 the stories and scandals about Mother and Baby homes came to the surface again when it was discovered that up to 800 dead babies bodies had been allegedly found in a septic tank in Galway, Ireland. Horrific stories have also been revealed from people who were born in such homes or reared in orphanages or industrial schools. 

As a Mother to two children I cannot imagine what it would have been like to have had either of them growing in my womb and knowing that I would never see them grow up to be children and adults. Or what it must have been like to hand them up for adoption as society decided it was a sin and a shame rather than a wonderful gift of life? 

In this poem I try to imagine the struggles and emotions that a Mother in this situation suffered. And by writing this poem I remember and acknowledge the strength and pain such Irish women suffered and allow it into our hearts to be loved and healed. May no woman ever have to endure this again! 
Photograph by Louis Fleckenstein

The Child That She Could Not Bring Home
by Yvonne Brewer

They ripped you from my teenage womb,
In a dark loveless room.
They dragged you from my helpless arms, but not from my broken heart.
Stole my child, but didn't steal memories that would tear a soul apart.

The Spring morning that they took you, I sat on a white cold bed,
And I thought,
“I am a Ghost Mother now, walking like the dead,
This bed is like my grave.”
And I stared at my little child's future, that I had no power to save.

The Spring morning that they took you,
I was so empty except for a heart filled with sorrows,
Heavy with grief for all the black tomorrows.
So I gave you all I had that day, a heart of sweet golden tears
That I quietly wept as you soundly slept, unaware of your mother's fears.
One tear, for every moment and every year
That I would not be there,
When you cried or when you smiled,
Or wondered did She care?

How I blessed you with my tears of hope and gold,
And begged that somehow your little soul
Would remember the young girl who sat all alone,
That Spring morning,
In that dark loveless room,
Crying, for you,
The child

Yvonne Brewer is a Mother to two boys, is a Reiki Master and also enjoys writing meditations and poetry as a method of healing and personal development. For over 20 years Yvonne has written poems, stories, meditations and letters as a hobby and uses creativity as an important tool for relaxation and stress release. This is the first time she has had a poem published.  Her first e-book was published in 2013 "Breathe and Bloom. Soul Mother Meditations". She lives in Cork, Ireland and can be contacted via her website here, on Facebook here, or you may e-mail her

~If you are interested in seeing your poetry appear in this blog, or submitting a poem by a woman that has inspired you, please click here for submission guidelines. I greatly look forward to hearing from you!~


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