a perfect gift for parents

Birth & What Came After

by Jessica Bates

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My Story

I'm Jessica Bates, a writer, reader, and mother who was born and raised in Tennessee. I like growing herbs, taking scalding hot baths, eating dark chocolate, and dancing. I get most of my writing done while children crawl over me. It's interesting. It's hard!

I've been writing my whole life, thanks to my family who always read to me. I'm having fun teaching my children the same love for words and stories. 

My first book flowed from me after my first child was born. I self published it in 2017. Now I'm finalizing my second collection and searching for the right agent and publisher to bring my next baby into the world.

Glad you're here! Follow me on Instagram / Twitter if that's your thing. And join my mailing list below to get (infrequent and not-annoying) updates.

Praise for Birth & What Came After

"This book is POWERFUL. This book will MOVE YOU. Jessica Bates is one of our generation's most promising poets - every poem in this debut book 'Birth & What Came After' will cement her capacity in your consciousness. 


A must-read for any person who is, will be, or has a mother."


Amazon Review

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How to Do Things & Be a Mother

You may no longer finish a task

in one sitting.

Start anyway. 

Scatter half-finished things

across your life 

like ripped pieces of paper —

trust that somehow

they will find themselves 

whole and complete


Learn to


in shorter cycles.

Learn to breathe

in longer ones.


You are so small

and there are so many ways

you could die.

I dreamed I dropped you

from the top of a steep staircase. 

I watched your body bounce down.

My hand on your head is like

palming a fuzzy peach.

I could crush you.

Zipping up your sleep sack

reminds me so much of

a body bag.

— Jessica Bates

from Birth & What Came After