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The Saturday Poem: Her Birth


by Rebecca Goss

Her Birth
On the wall, petunias,
painted in Walberswick.
I call to you, say
That's a good omen,
that's a good sign,
before buckling,
gripping the hospital bed.

Walberswick is where
I holidayed, every childhood
summer. It's where we announced
the news. Sixteen months
after the effort of her birth,
we collect a faux-walnut
box from Jenkins & Sons.
Inside, a clear sachet,
weightless as dried herbs.

We drive two hundred
and eighty-one miles
for that cold, unstoppable
wave to suck the sachet clean
and I ask you, She is all right now,
isn't she? She is all right?

• From Her Birth, published by Carcanet, RRP £9.95. To order a copy for £7.96 with free UK p&p go to guardianbookshop.co.uk or call Guardian book service on 0330 333 6846.

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