Mr Octopus for preemies

by Anita Pati

From the black sky of our incubator – HELP US – you are the pole star Mother
saw and hurled herself towards through groggy egg sucks and headFks.
So I twist my woollen legs around the mermaid’s wine glass and O don’t you
have creamy dead man’s fingers? Your sats monitor waves like kelp, bleep of quiet anemone.
Those agency nurses strap me to the corner while they drain aspirate from your milky belly; I
aspire to your love. But I’ve too much silt for milk. I’m waiting for the probes to satellite me
answers; they’re such sly weed in the ocean box. Keep secret our white noise tank. Look
at Mother’s fingers scrabbling through the port holes for you! Kelp startled by your heart,
kelp startled by your lungs, fronds making scribbles across that screen. I’m the octopus, Baba.
Old ladies with gnarled hands knitted me for you, snapping sticks for your balletic fingers.
Behold my plaited acrylic yarn, ye Mighty, and preen. You and me, don’t let Mama in, we
can swim here.

Knitted toy octopi are used in incubators so babies can grab their legs rather than the wires.