Haibun for the birth of humanity

A thought for Labour Day (May Day here). Frank Tassone’s dverse prompt yesterday.


Through all the years of Christendom back through the mists of Judaism, a woman’s only function on this earth was to reproduce. In some minds, it still is. Her lot has been pain and suffering with the ever-present fear of death at the end of it or the heartbreak of a dead child. The pain is softened now, and the fear of death has receded. But how many millennia of medical discoveries has it taken to ensure that labour is more likely than not to end in happiness?

small joys

the apple waiting to be plucked

sun on a sleeping cat

a child’s smile

on waking

Published by

Jane Dougherty

I used to do lots of things I didn't much enjoy. Now I am officially a writer. It's what I always wanted to be.

30 thoughts on “Haibun for the birth of humanity”

  1. It is those small joys that make life worthwhile. Lovely verse.
    Unfortunately, maternal mortality is still very high in many parts of the world, and in the U.S. it’s much higher than it should be, particularly for Black mothers.

  2. No woman today should be without maternal care, and yet so many still are–and our present government is doing it’s best to deprive as many more women as they can.
    I love your ending verse…it encompasses so much of the good things in life. (K)

    1. It’s incredible that something as fundamental as pre and post natal care is so neglected. Oh, wait, it’s only women isn’t it? No man was harmed during this one, so that explains it.

  3. So true.
    And those who claim to be pro lifers will abandon the life at the end of that journey of labor to the dustbin of society once it is delivered unless born with a silver spoon in its mouth.

    1. Don’t get me onto pro-lifers please! A misnomer if ever. Pro unborn life at the expense of already alive and kicking women’s lives. Yes, but they’re only women, they can’t make their own decisions, can they? Let old celibate pedophiles make the decisions for them, that seems quite reasonable to me, she says as they cart her off to the nut house.

      1. There’s a big move here to get to grips with what is often police not taking complaints seriously. A gendarme is being prosecuted at the moment for not accompanying a woman home after she filed a complaint against her violent companion. It’s maybe changing, but it shouldn’t need such a massive campaign, it should be obvious.

      2. here they have spent one billion dollars on a campaign but the stats increased significantly … with one researcher claiming that more media attention, the men feel intimidated and are more likely to kill … here it’s often not just the partner but 3 generations!

      3. The figures here are 101 women murdered by their companion since the beginning of the year. Many of them just ignored by police. I don’t know how that compares with other European countries, but it’s an unacceptable figure.

      4. Only 58 in the whole country? That’s incredible! You are in the US aren’t you? I’d have thought domestic violence was a much bigger problem. You must be doing something right.

      5. no I’m in Australia, we have a much smaller population but how they define those murders is interesting … they leave out car crashes, maybe suicides, etc that all arose from DV, so not at all accurate.

      6. I just checked. Your population is only 25 million! I’d have thought it was much bigger than that. There’s also the under-reporting of violence to women. If they’re dependent on the man for the roof over their head, there’s a big disincentive to go to the police about him. And if there are children, women often just accept to be a punching bag to keep his fists off the kids.

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