Postpartum: Three Poems

Poem 1: Exhausted Haiku

Silent screams burning
Exhausted claws lacerate
Lonely tears falling

Masque by Barbara M. Schmeisser

Masque by Barbara M. Schmeisser


Poem 2: Wet Ash

I am wet ash.
Void of all light and warmth
no hope to flutter about.
A cold lump of what was once so bright.
All joy burned away long ago.
Once so cherished, now discarded.
Used and unwanted
left with the bleak rain of misery.
It does not soak, it does not penetrate
it does not fizzle.
I am nothing now but
a dark, murky slime.
I am merely, wet ash.

Poem 3: Sack of Straw

You know those sayings to get you through hard times? All those You can do its? Well, when you’re sleep deprived, that block of strength turns to a sugar cube. The words crumble and dissolve into nothingness. There are no reserves to motivate you. There are emotions, though.

There is guilt as your see your baby in the playpen or watching TV, guilt because you’re too tired to play with him. There is rage. The intense, pure anger that comes without sleep. Violence inside the mind. Teeth biting, blood gushing, screams and claws. A volcano of destruction that boils inside you. It passes as quickly as it comes, and you are left with self-pity. Loathing. Certain that you’re not very good at anything. And begging. Begging for just a few minutes of rest. Stripped of all resolve. Empty and full at the same time—a sack of straw. Please, let me sleep.

About Deanna Foster

Deanna Foster is a local author who lives in Tantallon with her husband and two young boys. She was diagnosed with postpartum depression in December 2014, ten months after her second son was born.

About Barbara M. Schmeisser

Barbara M. Schmeisser writes: My mid-life art practice began in earnest after art school at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design (BFA 2005). There, my eclectic "art" interests gelled into sculpture. Its physical presence has enormous appeal and it is such a versatile medium, immediate and interactive in a visceral and provocative way that it challenges our thinking. It is lonely sometimes, being a sculptor in a room full of painters, but it is also liberating to have many more choices in utilizing space and in foregoing confining "supports." I work mostly in steel, cutting it, forging it, welding it and grinding it, until an object emerges. This representative style of working reveals familiar things about and around us that are not always visible. Ironic contrasts, humour, and visual metaphor are recurring elements. My work is "direct sculpture." Some work is wall-mounted and others are free-standing. The larger pieces comprise my "Public Art." They include social commentary and commemorative works. Other works are individual commissions or a body of work produced for an exhibition. My sources of inspiration, shared by many artists, are personal experiences, popular culture, and the natural environment. A constant challenge for me is the process of actually making the art. There is a lot of hard work between concept and conclusion, remaining true to the goal of keeping the art deceptively simple yet sharp, not boring and not "ugly." My artwork is exhibited from time to time in public spaces and has been purchased by the government of Nova Scotia for the Art Bank. Additional work can be viewed on the web sites of Visual Arts Nova Scotia and the Halifax Art Map and work is presently exhibited at the Dart Gallery in Dartmouth, NS.

One thought on “Postpartum: Three Poems

  1. Scotialassie

    These poems by Deanna are beautiful in a way that only someone who understands depression could understand. She puts on paper the aching emotions of how it feels to be depessed, even when you know you shouldn’t be and have no reason to be. But the brain over rules the brain.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *