Mothering

“The Newborns”

photo by Bonnie U. Gruenberg

photo by Bonnie U. Gruenberg

“The Newborns”

by Kathryn Hunt

All through the night,
all through the long witless hallways of my sleep,
from my hospital bed I heard
the newborn babies cry, bewildered,
between worlds, like new arrivals anywhere,
unacquainted with the names of things.

That afternoon a kind nurse named Laura
had taken me for a stroll to exercise
the red line of my wound.
We stopped by the nursery window
and a flannel-swathed boy in a clear plastic cradle
was pushed to the glass. We peered at him
and said, “Welcome. You’ve come to Earth.”
We laughed and shook our heads.

All through the night, all through the
drug-spangled rapture of my dreams,
I heard the newborn babies sing,
first one, then another. The fierce
beginning of their lament, that bright hiss,
those soft octaves of wonder.

“The Newborns” by Kathryn Hunt, from Long Way Through Ruin. © Blue Begonia Press, 2013. Reprinted with permission. (buy now)

Today’s poem courtesy of The Writers’ Almanac.

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