Tuesday, 29 September 2009

I Am Born (or, All the World's a Stage!)

My mother broke birth to me,
And there I was:
A silent lump of flesh and blood,
Entwined in afterbirth,
Wearing the placenta as a hat.

And immediately I started
Entertaining the doctors and nurses.
“Burble burble waaah!” I said,
(Which translated to the audience
As a scream)
“In the next thirty years,
I am here to entertain you!”

My mother lay quiet on the metal bed.
I had ripped her badly.

I shimmied a blood-red boa
And smiled. But then,
The doctor picked me upside down
And I hung mid-air like a joker
And I realised:
I’d left something backstage.
But I couldn’t remember what.

And then I screamed for real
As the doctor sewed and sealed the
Red curtains I’d rag-tagged through;

And the nurse measured me
With pincers;

And there was no happy father there.
And despite my initial confident

I was filled with stage-fright.

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