Liz Rule

Midnight's Child
For Emma

Midnight, a night of full moon;
sulphur clouds, orange and yellow,
swathe the dirty city of steel,
from smelter smokestack strewn.
The moon’s phosphorescent glow
washes over a crowning head;
harsh glints of light reveal
forceps applying a painful turn
to the head grasped in its spoon-like hollow;
the child is pulled forth with relentless zeal.
They hold her up, her bruised head
unbowed, battered but not beaten;
her eyes meet mine, no word is said,
but I am, in that moment, love smitten.

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