Odin's Song (Postpartum) by Jasmine Mann

i.
Nine days I hung from the
boughs of great Yggdrasil;
limbs wrapped tightly ’round
my neck – a choked and dry
tongue scraping across lips
as I tried to speak with the taste
of ash and leaves in my mouth, as
I prayed to Odin, as the branches
clawed at taut skin and a swollen belly.

But the runes were silent.

ii.
It was there from the depths of
my womb he was ripped – bloody
and screaming, as my arms reached
for him, as the branches silenced
my tongue with ashes and leaves,
as Odin swallowed the last of my voice.

And still the runes were silent.

iii.
I do not know the husk of
this body anymore. I do not
know its skin nor its hips nor
its breasts nor its curves.

I only know of blood and placenta,
stretched skin and an empty belly,
my body a broken Ragnarok.

iv.
He speaks to me in runes,
and I know him; I know his
skin as his tiny limbs wrap
tightly ’round my neck, as
my arms swallow his body
in a close embrace.


Jasmine Mann is a wife and mother living in Manchester, NH. She is an avid video game enthusiast, and regularly attends open mics with her guitar and soulful voice. Some of her poems have been published in The Tower Journal.