The room crinkles plastic sheeting,
stepping softly, we pause
to help her focus.
All senses gather again
inside walls, to hold a meeting
for a minute.
This is a room for women. I clamp
a hose to the tap, filling the pool
with warm waters.
Her sisters recreate a womb
out of soft light around her.
Busy, hushed, pause again, carry on.
Trade like hands push and probe,
‘Position is good. Don’t
push yet. Let it happen.’
She stands alone in labour,
supported from a distance
of a glass of water.
Ruptured water balloon drains
insulation, coconut saddled into pelvis,
pressing for a three-inch journey.
Another set of leg cramps
down my belly. This body knowing
what to do, taking over.
The walls, quiet street
and sacred night accept the noises
of a first breath and cry.