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Unknown Girl In A Maternity Ward

Rating: 2.8

Child, the current of your breath is six days long.
You lie, a small knuckle on my white bed;
lie, fisted like a snail, so small and strong
at my breast. Your lips are animals; you are fed
with love. At first hunger is not wrong.
The nurses nod their caps; you are shepherded
down starch halls with the other unnested throng
in wheeling baskets. You tip like a cup; your head
moving to my touch. You sense the way we belong.
But this is an institution bed.

You will not know me very long.
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COMMENTS OF THE POEM
Allison C 31 May 2019

What kind of rated this poem low? This is a beautifully tragic poem. I read it first as a teenager and felt it captures the very real wonder of looking at your newborn, and the pain of having to give her up, and the unfairness of the mess men's carelessness make of women's lives.

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Ashley Jarrett 17 November 2015

This poem is actually very excellent. The mother is expressing the shame she is supposed to feel being on her own while being pregnant. However, she also expresses the wonder and delight and amazement a woman feels when she actually delivers that child. The only shame is that she felt any shame at all for being awed and feeling diminished that someone missed out on a miraculous occurrence.

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