Morning Song


Love set you going like a fat gold watch.

The midwife slapped your footsoles, and your bald cry

Took its place among the elements.


Our voices echo, magnifying your arrival. New statue.

In a drafty museum, your nakedness

Shadows our safety. We stand round blankly as walls.


I'm no more your mother

Than the cloud that distills a mirror to reflect its own slow

Effacement at the wind's hand.


All night your moth-breath

Flickers among the flat pink roses. I wake to listen:

A far sea moves in my ear.


One cry, and I stumble from bed, cow-heavy and floral

In my Victorian nightgown.

Your mouth opens clean as a cat's. The window square


Whitens and swallows its dull stars. And now you try

Your handful of notes;

The clear vowels rise like balloons.

























Guiding Questions:

1.       Comment on the reactions of the mother to the newborn baby. How do these differ to the reactions we might expect?

2.       Examine the similes and metaphors used to describe the baby. What do these tell us?

3.       Why might the title of the poem be significant?

4.       What do the poet’s descriptions of herself reveal to us?