Last Labours

In an obstetrics ward,
by a watch unwound,
buried sounds of the born lift each page.
As a clamp for cords
ties the slack in her gown,
words give way to warmth and they fade.

Lost like a Sanskrit poet
whose longings should translate to rhyme.
A carved ruin once decoded
shall tell but one history through time.

And was hers the wasted womb?
A nursery turned reading room?
Collapsed to an early tomb from the climb...

Through groggy fog she greets
a glint in arm outstretched,
and steels her chest for the stethoscope's frost.
Till clearer eyes see beads
round a young deacon's neck.
The fool, shooed from his deed, leaves a cross.

The finches we save by feeding
have more young to starve come the storms.
Are lived lives as self-defeating,
once set upon pathways deformed?

A flock on a red eye flight,
cragged knuckles of bloodless white.
The sun's golden band slips off its jilted bride...

"We've scanned the uterine wall
to find the tumour spread,
into a croquet ball now just days..."
The murmured voices stall
as she lifts up her head,
then exhale into the hall where they fade.

Its fear makes the beast look bigger;
only fears of our own call its bluff.
But now with no fear left in her...
She gently caresses the lump.

Braced for an exit wound,
no will guides the eggshell tooth.
A mast on her hatchling moon
to broadcast this nightfall's news.
And on through the spinning black,
a lone train speeds on its track.
Release sadly heaves these seeds from her back...

The glass remains unfogged,
much like this Brussels morn.
Her virus model gleams throughout Heysel Square.
Paulinas join the throng.
Will one draw crowds of her own
someday, perhaps the next World's Fair?

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