I am not born. Doctors gas my mother
and she baulks. Trees creep in, snake
the delivery room. She wanders out
of fluorescent lights into the forest fugue.
I am birthed – daughter
of amniotic hook, scissor, steel.
Carried off in a Hillman Imp, I’m coddled
in the crook of my father’s elbow.
He drives with one free hand, delivers me
to the arms of my godmother.
She bathes, swaddles, lullabies –
there I feed and there I sleep. Years pass.
My mother wakes and, drowsy, drags herself
from the bracken, her hair tangled with twigs,
dragging limpet vines. On blackened feet,
she pads a path to my crib –
hands scoop and scoop and come up empty.
Heartwood darkens at the loss of its own green sap.
This poem was originally published in The Lonely Crowd Issue 10 (2018).