I ... entered the poem of life, whose purpose is ... simply to witness the beauties of the world, to discover the many forms that love can take. (Barabara Blackman in 'Glass After Glass')

These poems are works in progress and may be updated without notice. Nevertheless copyright applies to all writings here and all photos (which are either my own or used with permission). Thank you for your comments. I read and appreciate them all, and reply here to specific points that seem to need it — or as I have the leisure. Otherwise I reciprocate by reading and commenting on your blog posts as much as possible.

2 April 2008

The First-Born: Arrival

(The prompt is "First")

He took a long time coming.

Twelve hours of me panting
trying to find breath,
nothing left to answer with
when the nurses murmured,
'Why isn't she using her breath to push?'
no lung power to say
I had no lung power, I'd caught a cold.

Later I found the power
to yell and swear as the pain hit.
'Oh!' said the nurses, gasping
almost enough to push him out for me,
'What would your husband say,
if he could hear you now?'
They looked all of 16, the pair of them.
I didn't bother to laugh.

Then it no longer mattered.
I thought the next push
would split me apart
from groin to crown
and that was irrelevant.
If I could, I might have shrugged.
All that mattered 
was getting that baby born.

Dimly I heard, 'It's a boy'.
They wrapped him round
and laid him on my chest.
I was too exhausted
even to raise my head.
Afraid my weak arms
wouldn't hold him,
'You take him,' I said. 'I'm scared.'

'How can you be scared,' said the midwife,
'Of such a little scrap?'
His skin was very fair,
his few fine hairs almost white.
I dropped little kisses on his forehead
when no-one was looking.
As each kiss alighted, a tiny smile
twitched his lips and his eyes opened.

© Rosemary Nissen-Wade 2008


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