My older daughter was delivered after hours and hours of trying to be born! I wrote this a long time afterwards and it was satisfying to use a controlled form to enclose a scary experience over which I’d had no control.

The sun gleams as dull as the moon
through dreary leaves and budless branches
in the bare cold of a grey garden
where heart numbs and mind hardens.

The pre-med patient dreams and drifts
her body stiff and cold with fear:
needle, lights, the clean white gown,
the masked surgeon looking down.

The metal forceps coldly thrust
to pull the bloodied baby out;
the screaming mother’s writhings cease;
they wipe the walls and change the sheets.