Asking for permission for the Andean blessing

I am happy to announce the safe arrival of Sumaya Elyse Buxton, born on 18 October 2008. Click on the photo for a gallery of some images. Below are some words that the birth inspired me to write:

Water Birth

For Sumaya Elyse Buxton

I sit like a fisherman expectant,
Gazing at her rose-pink surface,
Which quivers, ripples out,
One arm flickers, a faint egret cry,
Her body returns to stillness.

I see mirrored reflections
Of the eddying
That rolled across Juliette’s watery womb.
Our attempts then at imagined connection
Touching limbs through gossamer-thin skin.

Through a canal of a few inches
Her and our world turned inside out.
The ghostly black-white of ultrasound
Exposed in raw light into
The flushed-red of a perfectly detailed being.

Our imaginings have become the
Reality of nurturing new and vulnerable life.
We have become extensions of her reflexes,
Reacting instinctively
To the crumpling and softening of her face.
Future and past reduced to the present moment.

On my first outing
I find myself walking,
Sumaya cocooned in my sling,
To a nearby nature reserve.
Autumnal dusk feathers the sky,
Flocks of geese arc so close,
Their wings compress the air around us.
We look out at the water’s edge
Squinting towards a shared future.

28 October 2008