Birth can be sad when mother wakes
and baby sleeps right on
in separate beds,
in separate rooms.
A child is born
into this dreamlike day.
The mother wakes - her job is done,
but hasn’t seen her little one,
she has agreed it’s best for all
to form no further bond
that must be further broken.
The baby wakes in thin October light
and cries because it is so bright.
Does she know her mother isn’t there?
Does she feel like something’s missing?
One cord’s been cut, one more remains.
She’ll never be this small again.
This is her time - purely,
before others enter in.
Birth is bookend one,
tombstone date the other;
each half of a mated pair.
Her birthstone lies
at the very heart
of time to come.
No message yet
in the space to follow,
no borrowed verse expressing pride:
of name, of marriage, parentage,
of property or roots, of profit or its fruit,
of loss of others come and gone before,
or the hope to join them,
only unspoken and unwrit, implied
hello to all that is to come,
a life written by its author.
One more document,
actual as taxes,
to be formalized in ink
by the poised hand of Authority:
her Certificate of Birth,
pending final naming.
Those who will not sail it
are not to name the boat.
Baby Doe, her maiden name.
She lies within a borrowed wrapping.
How could she own, she has not earned.
Chrysalis statistically: one hand clapping.
She does not even own her name;
rented, it will be taken from her,
exchanged upon her transplantation.
This baby girl born at the stony throat
of scrawny neck of Belfast Bay,
high upon a hill where summer folk play
when wild fragaria and bleuets
are in season, red and blue,
then depart frost-driven,
southward as their money flows.
The summer folk are relatively rich and few
and when they blow and go kerchew
they contain themselves with handkerchiefs
the locals wash and iron,
the mother being one of them: maid of all work,
a domestic factotum capable as well
of heavier odd jobbing like working
in his boatyard with her pa.
Often nanny, good with children,
loved by them for her good heart
and gentle, caring ways.