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WATCH Miriam Hechtman recite her poem, In Utero

Miriam Hechtman
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Published: 7 December 2020

Last updated: 5 March 2024

Why are we here? My just turned seven year old asks me as her eyes flutter - WATCH MIRIAM’S POETRY READING


In Utero

Why are we here?
My just turned seven year old asks me
As her eyes flutter
With the beckoning of sleep
Of dreams
Where the biggest questions are probably answered
Or not asked
I tell her it’s a very good question
Many thoughts to consider
Many feelings, many ideas
But I sense her fear
She’s always treaded in the deep
In my womb I often couldn’t find her
Swimming between worlds
Ancient silences
I couldn’t hear
She was hard to reach
I tell her to breathe in big
Breathe out
Breathe in again
That when worry comes
Go back in to your body
Feel your toes
Go back to right here
Some answers are not in words
Or the conversation
Or the words we thought we knew
So we read a book
Like always
These days it’s Pippi Longstocking
The imagination defiant
Pushing up against gravity
Edges bending towards joy
Her wild adventures
The way she sleeps with her feet on her pillow
Head under the covers
Turning life upside down
To make sense of it all
We laugh out loud with Pippi
All those questions marks flying, dispersing like fireworks
The body loves a good giggle

About the author

Miriam Hechtman

Sydney-based Miriam Hechtman is an Australian writer, creative producer and poet. She is the founder and creative director of Poetica, a live poetry and music initiative and co-presenter and producer of WORDSMITH – the poetry podcast.

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