The jolting was too much for her
and twice they stopped while she retched.
Silence stretched ahead, as though
they swam into it: eerie echoes muffled
by breeze-tides. Stars, not a star lit the way.
The pains began at dawn and he found
shelter. She was racked for hours,
torn by waves of it: until the child
broke the banks of her with head –
on a flood of arms, legs, swam into air.
Her dreams grew big as griffin’s wings,
flew around the shabby roof-tops:
until the man with myrrh arrived.
The baby whimpered, and the moment ebbed;
she felt her milk flow in; cried.
(From a Benediction)