Afterbirth

Paula Obè
Trinidad and Tobago
In "Afterbirth," singer/songwriter Paula Obè captures the beauty of motherhood and of women. This song/poem celebrates Obè's grandmother and mother, acknowledging their struggle and accepting the truth that although many things have changed and much progress made, limitations still exist for women. Through song, Obè acknowledges the contribution of our women ancestors--our mothers and grandmothers--who paved many paths for women worldwide. The accompanying painting, also created by Obè, shows a kaleidoscope of the journey women undergo, and how this journey is at the very core of our fabric.
 
 

 

Afterbirth

The past pales
my memories stretch into those
of my mothers that went before
to my mother and grandmother
whose sight still stretches on
they remember when little girls
were expected to be seen and not heard
to give of themselves
without expecting too much in return
to burn to burn in the words of the holy books
the Quran, the Gita, the Holy Bible
for walking 50 years forward

The past pales
my eyes are those of the present
there are still un-sanctioned words
to girls choosing mechanics over home ec
choosing careers over marriage

A lot has changed
and still nothing has changed
there has always been strong women around
strong, proud in the beliefs
of who they were
who they are
and who they will be

In the midst of it all
I remember this poem
was supposed to be on social progress
but isn't it co-incidental that social progress
can't happen without strong women
and in the midst of it all
I remember this poem
was supposed to be on social progress
of workshops and conferences
of sardine-packed cars
driving out to women
to learn and teach
sharing and bearing ideologies
that sometimes escapes
with the afterbirth
that we once again claim
as we bring forth daughters
not necessarily our own

And a lot has changed
and still, still nothing has changed
there has always been strong women around
strong, proud in the beliefs
of who they were
who they are
and who they will be
I think you know what I mean.

 

"Afterbirth" features Paula Obè on Vocals and Guitar and Navid Lancaster on Harmonica.

 

About The Artist 

Paula Obè was born in Trinidad & Tobago in 1969. She is a performance poet who has been performing for the past 20 years. She combines music and words to create a sound all her own, and has performed twice at The Women's Voices Festival, Ottawa, and at events in Barbados, Venezuela, Dominican Republic, Guyana, New York and in her home country, Trinidad & Tobago. Obè has also produced two poetry albums, Afterbirth and Not so Soft. From 2000 to 2002, she co-produced the 10 Sisters Show, which showcased some of the best female poets and singer-songwriters in Trinidad & Tobago.