Preparing for fatherhood at 2.01am in 1991

The starched uniform said,

What can you say about pregnancy and childbirth you’re a man?

I agreed, for I’m just the one who made love to the sound
of waves on a Cornish beach one warm day in May.

I’m just watching the one woman in my life, who loves me
enough to forgive, have flesh ripped into screams.

The smile of her friend said

You don’t know about shitting a melon through a hole the size of a phone

I agreed, for I’m just seeing midwives and doctors startled
like Meerkats to rush her to a butchered belly or death.

I’m just the manikin standing in the ward by the bed
with no worries as I’m the father who will provide.

The touch of her mother said,

You’ll love your baby but we’ve grown the baby into life.

I agreed, for I’m just alone with him holding a hand as his face writhes
to wait and see who will live to see who before sun rise.

I’ll just cry as I look into his eyes knowing I can never
look away until the day he bends down to kiss me goodbye.

Published in The Lake

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While waiting for toast

In​ each little square,
​sits​ silverware and white
plates ​with ​a single
flower of ​grey plastic​.​
​You and I sit to eat
a breakfast of fried
splendour and toasted
plenty with butter
served with trained
smiles and you wait
sipping coffee that
​I​ wouldn’t scrub
floors with at home.
Next to you, two
men flop over seats
holding cups like toys
from play houses,
with rag doll fingers.
One sighs, It’s all
about the angle’
and the other just
looks into his cup.

Published in The Lake