Melinda Smith

Given 

 

Christmas is in the air.
You are given into my hands
out of quietest, loneliest lands.
My trembling is all my prayer. 

‘Five Days Old’ – Francis Webb*

Poolside baby showers
herald the summer pregnancies.
Sweat caresses swollen knees;
mothers tally labour hours;
giftwrap is everywhere.
Christmas is in the air.

But by the time you come
first frost has been and gone.
A long walk brings you on.
I howl ten hours, a dumb
animal shocked at pain’s demands.
You are given into my hands:

all downy with the smell
of love, my warm wise frog.
Then: eight months of the black dog.
I crawl back from cold hell
that no one understands
out of quietest, loneliest lands.

Now you seem newly-made
or is it me, new-born?
Chill fog melts in the dawn
and now I am afraid
of how much I can care.
My trembling is all my prayer.

 

 

‘Five Days Old’ by Francis Webb is from Francis Webb Collected Poems Davidson, T (ed) University of Western Australia Publishing 2011 p225 copyright © 2011. Reproduced by permission.

From Drag down to unlock or place an emergency call
Published by Pitt Street Poetry

 
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