And How Many Children Do You Have?
I answer four, although what I mean to say is five but I don’t want to start that conversation with a well-meaning stranger How can I explain that Sasha no longer exists In this realm She is wet ashes dissolved on a Surrey heath She has passed through a door which I can’t pick the lock to But I am still her mother I still birthed her She was still born
In This Poem She Doesn’t Die
Her blue blank face retreats slurped back up inside me, waves pulling up as amniotic oceans recede and fill jelly-like emptiness to tautness, ripe She reattaches her cord, deep-sea diver and we pump, exchange, flow together. Messages crackling through ocean pipes Blue, turning white, turning pink Cervix closing, elongating, protecting She snuggles down, nesting snug for another three months, infection markers diminishing, flicker, spark, heart restarts to a dum-de-dum-de-dum-de-dum-de-dum-de-dum
by Fiona Dignan
Fiona Dignan is a stay-at-home mum of four young children. She started writing poetry and short fiction during lockdown to cope with the mayhem of homeschool. Her work is mostly based around the theme of motherhood and she aims to start honest conversations around maternal mental health, baby loss and the everyday trials and joys of raising children. She also writes about nature, identity, sexuality and language.
photo credit: Jos van Ouwerkerk