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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