Poem of the Month: October 2007

Drawn on My Body

Drawing of an unborn baby on a woman's stomach.
I want to tell you about a time
long ago, just before you were.
Me, my feet up in stirrups,
naked and full under a hospital gown,
while he examined me.
No glint or chink of warm coinage
passed between us,
just his hands
cool and clever, and unconcerned,
moving over and in my body.
Then the others took their turn,
and they fumbled
with the realness and the heat,
of your blood beating still with mine,
the ripe fruit splitting round its core,
as I lay dilated, ready for you.
He asked them all a question,
about your position just inside me.
No-one seemed to know
that you were almost ready too,
low down, head engaging, but still attached,
to be pushed into separateness.
And he didn't ask me,
Just took a pen from his pocket
and drew you on my stomach,
your heart, your body, your little fists.
But not your sex.
And then
with a whispering of white cotton,
they left me,
gown still up round my breasts,
waiting for a nurse to come,
and wash off this strange new tattoo.
And son, you are still there, drawn on my body.
Just faded now.

© James Nash
From Coma Songs, Grassroots Press, 2003