Monday, January 4, 2010

The After Life, Kara L.C. Jones

The After Life
by Kara L.C. Jones
excerpted from The Good Wife (forthcoming from KotaPress)

When my son died,
my skin and bones
died with him.

My heart pumped loudly now
no longer contained within my rib cage.

Without breasts, I was certain
I'd never feed another creature.

But there was a hungry tiger following the scent
of my free flowing blood, and when he caught
sight of me, he marveled at how I looked,
as if stir crazy with zoo cage confinement,
pacing back and forth across the same few
memories, living the details in each step.
Panting, blood paw over blood paw,
hearing the doctor growl again and again:
Your baby has no heartbeat.

My exposed never endings pulsed, grief
pumping through jungle terrain and now the tiger became crazed--
not so much with hunger as with desire to stop grief
from tousling his striped fur.  And so he pinned me,
the pads of his paws cold
on my exposed organs,
claw tips scraping

After my son died,
I had to be devoured
before I could be resurrected.


about the poet.
Kara L.C. Jones, aka Mother Henna, is the Radical Creative behind all things In 1999, after the death of their son Dakota, Kara and her partner Hawk co-founded Kota Press (KOTA: Knowing Ourselves Thru Art), an expressive arts outreach. Through their KOTA work and in partnership with the MISS Foundation, they have been mentoring other bereaved parents and caregivers around the world, offering creative perspectives on learning to life again after loss. As a coach to private clients, Kara facilitates the exploration of grief and creativity using many tools for alternative mind, body, spiritual health. Some of her specialties include henna art, heART-making, co-active coaching, Reiki, Tapping, asking the answerable questions and more. Kara keeps a radical creativity blog at Mother Henna and her Kota Loss & Compassion Blog.


  1. wow. how frightening. i compared my loss once to a shark attack. worse than one, actually. i can totally picture the tiger attacking her as the doctor says those horrible words that so many of us have heard. i shiver at the thought. and then, devouring what is left of her. my heart is speeding right now, im so scared. what a powerful poem. it's ok to feel scared: i am grieving.

  2. Powerful. It captures that helpless feeling of being at the mercy of things beyond our control. The pain of babyloss is brutal.

  3. Oh Kara. Oof. This is incredibly powerful.

  4. Thanks everyone! Angie, so honored to have this piece shared here. It really found the right home here.


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