I sit and she is handed to me
Out of nowhere. A gift.
Formed and carried, now presented.
Her weight is warm; black down
Upon her head not a day old.

The walls mean nothing to me,
Nor the light which shifts
With the sailing clouds and
Plays across her mother’s blanketed form;
Spent and softening.

Milk thoughts quiver
Behind tinged lids, each one secure
I am just as full
And not this split-souled,
Riven bitch.

Bundled and silent, she inhales
At my chest, arms blindly reaching
And pushing through loosening folds.
Tiny hands flash open like stars
And I close one in my own.

Blood and trust and heat in my palm;
Smooth as a sun-warmed pebble.
I look down; watch
Starved fingers form a cradle, or a
Ribcage for a heart.

It flies up like a startled bird,
Something high and bright;
Escaped from the place I’d
Stamped down, nailed shut
And instructed to die.

A girl who wears my face cries out and begs,
Delirious from light through
A crack like a thread fine vein.
One more week and I’ll stop.
I want this too.

She tears and weeps within me,
Banging on a door
Now locked and bolted.
I force her down, crush her wants
And turn away my own.

You’ll never mourn
A hand you’ll never hold;
A pair of eyes you’ll never know.
This I use to wean my heart,
So I can live bloodless.

Arms remove the baby and
A sound leaves me,
Screaming mother in my blood;
Little human lifted from my body
And taken like a chance.

At the end of the ward
She cries.
I stop, but not for long;
I have at least glimpsed heaven
In someone else’s angel.

Baby hand

2 thoughts on “Alanah

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