Ward Orchestra

In the maternity ward

you plead for more painkillers.


like a magician’s lover

folded in two,

beheaded by a bed sheet

that creeps

like a glacier

to your feet.


The curtain curves

to a belly button

around the bed,

like two hands

hanging over your eyes.


Yet still you wait

and sob,

listening to the soundtrack of changing lives:

the conversations,

the contractions,

the nerves,

the nurses

ushering mothers to their beds.


The microphones conduct the orchestra

The ward hums

to a harmony of heartbeats:

a belly flop,

a laughing frog,

the boom of a galloping horse,

the crackle of a microphone interviewing the wind

and a drum that beats

between two worlds.