Red

1

By Georgie

Your mother sprawls
Like a petition left unanswered
At an altar.
You calculate if this pregnancy
Outweighs her body— you imagine
How it must be to lift something inside
Other than yourself.
You shake her fragile body
Just enough to avoid a split
As though it were your grandmother
You tried waking back to life.
You call out, far into the black sea, to
Her once-big-life now inside a
bottle, half sunk
In silent waters—no echo hits back.
Who said fear isn’t
A lumberjack, splintering
Your wood heart &
Making ashes out of them?
The doctor says there’s
A riot in her blood & a
Lack of protein, you wonder
If blood & water have become enemies
In a body made of so much quiet.
Before now, before your
mother’s belly took shape
Her face glowed & you
Thought it was the new cream
Or the colour of honeymoon
Rubbing itself all over.
You didn’t know people
Shine before they die, so bright,
Like the death of a star.
The baby doesn’t get to stay
Even a womb is a boneyard or
Perhaps that’s how God
Picks his Cherubs.
But God! do I want her here,
I’m not ready to hustle flowers
Down her grave side.
What miracle does my tongue hold?
I’m ready to say the litanies
Till her name leaps into a new day.
I’m the stone reeling with tears
Singing blue notes into the velvet
Night.

BIO:
Georgie is a poet who resides in Festac, Lagos State.
IG handle: chidozie.george.

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