Maternity Ward


Pervasively, in these corridors
the threatening smell of powder;
the warm, body-sweet, overpowering
deodorant odour
of blood and sanitary pads.

This is a closed set.
Nobody here in fact except
a pupation of babies.

Women wear a singular
uniform of nighties and slippers
blue, pink, blue, pink,
ruffles and ribbons, nothing masculine.
They switch off and on
mute robots patrolling
in a rigid bother
blunderingly alert.
It’s a provisional life
that goes on forever.

Mothers and newborn gaze wonderingly.
They feed off and simultaneously
ignore each other.

It’s a hot-house bubble
each mother-pupa couple.
A clicking twin-bomb
both dialled to detonate.

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