They watch the screen, punch-pleased,
as the sonographer traces slow circles
on her belly and the room dulls
to a thick, cloistered hush.
In another room, smaller, colder,
the world rends, roils
beneath the blue plastic sofa
while they wait for the midwife
to tell them, it doesn’t look good.
In the weeks between, they lean
against the cool bark of the witching tree
on the heath, whisper pleas
into its tessellations,
stick stray feathers into the sand,
to arrange their wishes, just so.
And when it is time, she lies still,
oh-so-still on the table
holds her breath,
Outside, a morning of crows,
murdering the brumal air
with clatter and chaws,
the carnival flash of parakeets
at the Richmond window.
The scent of crab apples mustering on the
Octobered heath as they reach home
in the dark;
the jolt of her keening
when the door was closed.
Sun breaking through dank
in the gorse-crowned fields
to colour the sky sugared pink
starling egg blue;
the sweet heft
of a pear-sized ghost in her arms.
Author: Ysella Sims
The GistYsella Sims produced her first pamphlet, You are Here, in 2018 and is hard at work on her first collection. She has recently completed a Masters in Creative Writing at Plymouth University and lives in Exeter.