Her Birth

On the wall, petunias,

painted in Walberswick.

I call to you, say

That’s a good omen,

that’s a good sign,

before buckling,

gripping the hospital bed.


Walberswick is where

I holidayed, every childhood

summer. It’s where we announced

the news. Sixteen months

after the effort of her birth,

we collect a faux-walnut

box from Jenkins & Sons.

Inside, a clear sachet,

weightless as dried herbs.


We drive two hundred

and eighty-one miles

for that cold, unstoppable

wave to suck the sachet clean

and I ask you, She is all right now,

isn’t she? She is all right?


from Her Birth (Carcanet/Northern House, 2013), © Rebecca Gioss 2013, used by permission of the author and the publisher

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