by Rosalind Hudis

This is my daughter asleep in the morning,
one hand between the silvery poles
of her cot, that remind me of birch trees.

She’s going to theatre soon:
the surgeon will snap her ribs
to reach a heart which can’t wake

itself properly inside its blue forest.
She mustn’t eat. So when she stirs and calls
my arms down for the first feed, I turn

to the wall. She beats a fist,
the size of a large bee, into air.
Her feet swim faster as if racing

a blind snow flood,
and I am the snow. Later
it’s I who can’t reach

my child so far under,
her face a locked, white egg
in the thicket of tubes.