I was pulled out,
tugged by gloved hands,
a rummage in a handbag,
from layers of belly
under stinging lights.
My hips malformed,
disjointed and mother
so disappointed with the scalpel
of intervention, but my father joked
her annoyance was greater
because she missed the end of the film.
We were in the cinema
when her waters broke,
trickled onto a floor strewn
with cigarette ends, ticket stubs
and the wrappers of Walnut Whips.
My pudgy legs splayed
for months while
a soft brace secured stability
for the ball and socket joint,
I walk perfectly now for an hour
each day, sleep each night
in a foetal curl as if back in her womb.
Mother says my gait and quick, tiny steps
remind her of my paternal aunt’s
who ran marathons and never sat still,
a bit like my Grandma Gill
who’d meet herself coming back,
whereas I prefer taking my time
to get places.
Lorraine Carey’s poetry is widely anthologised and published in Ireland, Britain, USA and Australia. Her poems appear in One, Black Nore Review, Atrium, Poetry Ireland Review, Gyroscope Review, Abridged, Constellate, Orbis, Prole, Poetry Birmingham, The Honest Ulsterman, Marble and Epoque Press among others. A Pushcart Prize nominee, she has been placed and shortlisted in several competitions and longlisted in The National Poetry Competition 2019. Her debut collection is From Doll House Windows (Revival Press).