The Midwife


When but a girl, I peeled an orange bare

And I wanted to emerge like it, fair,

And belovèd and able to quench thirst.

I still search, peeling still, but in despair.


An orange is like a wet, swollen birth

And as I have coaxed many, I have mirth

At the thought of conceiving, but I can’t

So I seek my child from peel to unearth.


Two of the Fates, they plucked me—they fucked me

And now, I have no children but debris;

I was raped by Fortune, yet I am still

Hopeful for an easy delivery.


Rumour on swift wings has brought to me strength

And an invitation asking at length

If I could attend the Chatelaine’s tea

Which will take place in her den on the tenth.


The Chatelaine gave me a saffron dress

And a pearl comb to use and to impress,

Now I have a voice; now I can bear, bear

My little word-child—one gives as one gets.


Thoughts, like children, grow within us and pain

In birthing them exists to teach us plain

And simple that we are not Creators

But that we are only what we retain.