when i was in labour with you,
years of waiting,
the anaesthetist ran his hands gently down my spine.
his voice running over my pain like water,
has anyone ever told you that you have scoliosis?
yes, i nodded, right in the middle of a contraction that felt like it could force continents apart.
a woman knows when she is held up by imperfection.
is that why it hurts so much?
a murmur—yes—a stranger’s fingers moving up and down my vertebrae;
an attempt to tame the thing that was wild within my bones, right from the start, and
later, when the light broke hot pink and wild orange, all over our new life, you were a soft weight on my chest, and i was learning how to keep you alive with all the broken pieces that i had, and
all i could smell was heaven.
it was there in your hair, and in your cries, and the way that your fingers curled around mine, and
how could something like this, ever have been made in the dark?
all this beauty that was built, in spite of a foundation that is still tilted
— i have made beauty from everything they said was broken.
© Liezel Graham 2019.
Photograph by Dominika Roseclay.