Death in the form of a child

When you came alive, I leant in,
a red flower to your whisper.
What you said, was dark. Darkness,
from the bud of the spine, so I turned away.

I still remember the sound.
If I close my eyes, I see your mouth,
white, soft,
an embryonic sack, opening and closing.

Nothing like the confusion
of water to make you think
something’s alive. Was that a hand, there,
in the swell of the screen

lifting or waving? A child or a man,
floating, drowning?
I leant in one more time, but had gone too far
to make sense of it.
Now I see, I expected it.

First published by Wild Court,
January 2019

Listen to Helen reading her poem ‘Naked’, originally published by Envoi.integra

Other poems

Allotment evening published by Wild Court, (August 2019)

A mountain that is your grief  you  can’t utter published by the Cardiff Review (July 2019)

Now my brother has died published by Atrium (November 2018)

A conversation with  my daughter about my brother’s suicide published by IS&T (October 2019)