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
untethered floe.

Photo by oliver.dodd

Eleanor Stanford

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.

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