from the studio of Roger van der Weyden

With her right hand she holds the breast
between her fingers, pushing the nipple forward
and looks down, concentrated. The baby looks, too;
a blue vein throbs as the milk comes in.
And I feel again the warmth of the held child,
years past ovulation dream the vital second
when the sperm finds the egg, how they grow together
and swirl towards a safe harbour and silt to lodge in.

When I was a girl, the frost made ferns
on my window, their leaves spread over and over;
moss on a shady path was a firework star-burst.
What endlessness of variation, sand-ridges
made and unmade with every tide; all the unborn,
children and grandchildren, the womb unfulfilled.