Unconditional love in the neonatal unit

Yes, that was it again, that painful vice-
like tightening which I shouldn’t feel for weeks.
I stand to cry for help and sense the leak
Of waters down my disbelieving thighs.
Through rush hour traffic the saviour ambulance creeps,
My body drugged and frozen, but not my heart
Which fears for this soul I’ve longed to meet
And may not now. I hear my husband weep.

Alone for the first time I gaze at you:
A warm but blue-skinned hedgehog on my chest,
Curled tight as if denying you’ve been expelled
Before your time from my unreliable womb.
And I know through years to come I won’t forget:
Those minutes you spent in limbo I spent in hell.

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