blood & milk

I’m        shedding           the lining of my womb
again. I feel the                                          ache                   grip my body
bone-heavy tiredness that
sinks me
into my bed at night    resenting          the baby’s need
for milk that wakes me                             every few hours.         But I rise
each time,        stumble
down the dark corridor
to meet his furious shouts                  (it won’t be forever
and there’ll be no more            babies now, only bleeding
every month                  until I don’t.)

I find          myself
shivering                          and can’t stop, even
in the sunshine. I’m sure
it’s my body        telling me
to          slow     down   but there’s always more
mothering to do.

The next morning,       my head pounds
and my son wakes                      too early,          pulling
at my arm in the pre-dawn grey

Karan Chambers
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