Standing on the bench

Three years old
and arms reached high
touching the sky
on Selsley common.


I wrote this in the summer of 2020, as we were emerging from the first lockdown. Loved ones had died and been born without us being there. But over that beautiful, hard summer, there were also quiet moments of joy. Just over a year later my boys were back on the bench, a year older but still reaching for the sky.

Birth

And then I
am floating
on the hospital ceiling.
Looking down
at my body.
Naked,
open,
centre-stage.
It’s pretty biological.
Must be the fucking
gas and air.

What’s that
war film where they
go into slo-mo?
There’s a beach,
must’ve D-day,
or b-day,
Or VBAC day
(chortle).

Down there
by my body,
people gather
round my vagina
Like it’s a camp-fire.

A midwife pauses,
waiting like a surfer
for the next wave.
It will come.
Oh fuck not yet.
Leave me up here
a little longer.

The door opens
and it rushes in.
Sweeping me
down from the ceiling.
Back,
all of me united in
dark, purple pushing.

Well I thought I might as well start as I mean to go on. With the real stuff that is birth. VBAC stands for vaginal birth after cesarean, which is how my second little one came into the world.