By Teri Ellen Cross Davis


For Zoë


After the Pitocin*
After the Magnesium Sulfate*
After the contractions
After the migraine
After 6 centimeters
After the nurse came
After my mother came
After the vomiting
After 9 centimeters
After 10
After he whispered push
After the warming lamp was clicked on
After almost there the fourth time
After almost there the sixth time
I closed my eyes and the only voice I heard was my own
In the darkness a notch shifted and after me — came you

To Read More Birth Stories, Get Your Copy of Oh Mama!


"Induced" from "Haint" Copyright 2016 by Teri Ellen Cross Davis. Reprinted by permission of Gival Press.



Teri Ellen Cross Davis - Teri Ellen Cross Davis, author of Haint, (Gival Press, 2016) winner of the 2017 Ohioana Book Award for Poetry, is a Cave Canem fellow and member of the Black Ladies Brunch Collective. Her work can be read in many anthologies and journals. She lives in Maryland with her husband, poet Hayes Davis and their two children. Their website is