Slathered in a vernix coat,
you slithered out to my relief
with ten toes and two perfect hands
bunched into tiny fists.
Your fingers opened and little arms flailed,
at odds with vastness after the final
weeks cramped in the dark.
Lung pockets filtered your breaths
without a second thought,
your independence sealed
with a clamp.
Like a marshmallow,
dip-dyed and plump
your brand new heart
started to pump blood,
under the stinging lights
and midwives changing shifts
and I watched you, from purpley blue
turn a delicious pink.
Lorraine Carey’s an Irish poet and artist. Her poems have featured in Prole, Black Bough, The Honest Ulsterman, Orbis, Poetry Ireland Review, Smithereens, Atrium, Abridged, Poetry Birmingham Literary Journal, The Curlew, Constellate and on Poethead among others. A keen photographer, she was the featured artist in Issue 11 of Skylight 47 and Issue 9 of North West Words. Shortlisted for The Allingham Poetry Prize 2019, she was a runner up in both the Trocaire / Poetry Ireland and The Blue Nib Chapbook Competitions 2017. A contributor to several anthologies, her debut collection is From Doll House Windows (Revival).
This poem was first published in Sixteen May 2017.