Monday, October 18, 2010

Wound Stripes, Kara L.C. Jones

Wound Stripes
inspired by walking on alligators book
by Kara LC Jones

to the strings striped
around me, umbilical cords
I did not want to cut,
umbilical cords
that did not do the job.

Stripes of the cord
wound around
and around
and around
till my first son
strangled to death
in the womb.

Another wound stripe
marks my body
from the c-section
where I birthed him.

of my second son,
also born dead,
wound too short,
upside down,
placenta came first,
ripped from cord,
nothing at the end
of his lifeline
but death.

Can I wear my Wound Stripes
proudly as mothers of the living
wear their badges?
I often see the unseen.
Familiar Scars.
Familial Scars.
Scars telling who they really are.
Badges others pretend
not to see because
seeing would mean facing their own wounds,
their own mortality. 
Most do not want to be made to do that.

So we Striped Mothers
walk around, present everywhere,
numbers of us alarmingly higher
than you’d like to know.
We are naming our wounds.
You might be afraid,
but Death Chicks are not afraid.
We have nothing more to lose.

I have nothing more to lose.
So why not be an agent of the revolt.
I rise up from the bounds that silenced me.
I rise up to show Death’s reality.
I wear my Wound Stripes proudly.
Wound round me
the same way living mothers
papoose their babies, too.


about this poem.

This poem was originally published on Mother Henna's website, Wound Stripes.
about the artist.
Kara 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 HennaKota Loss & Compassion Blog. Kara has been featured on still life 365 with her scrapbook page for her son Dakota, her poem Take-out Order, and her poem the After Life. The still life 365 community is mourning with Kara and her husband for the recent loss of her second son, Mizuko Star. 


  1. Incredibly powerful poem.
    Thanks for sharing here with us all.
    Remembering Dakota and Mizuko.

  2. Powerful indeed. Remembering your boys.

  3. Thank you much, Hope's Mama and Virginia! Miracles, k-


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