groan and heave in heavy labor.
When my body slid into
transition, down that steep moraine,
the midwife murmuring
some pre-Latin Alpine language,
I shattered like that, too. Easier
the grief of words than any bone-
deep thaw, the afterbirth’s tossed
life-preserver, the slippery
Eleanor Stanford is the author of two books of poems, Bartram's Garden and The Book of Sleep (both from Carnegie Mellon University Press). She is a 2014/2016 Fulbright scholar to Brazil, where she is researching and writing about traditional midwifery.