Two Poems

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

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