Eating for Two


When push and shove come, at last,
to stirrups and forceps,
protocol is waived and sans-mask
I take my place blindside of the mess.

First sight of his crown has them aflutter,
like pigeons round a bit of crust:
finally, right way-up, our little miner
tunneling his way into the hubbub.

If I remember right it was Trafalgar
Square, over a tuna-mayo sandwich
and a bag of salt and vinegar,
where you talked me into talking you into marriage,

a lunch-date neither of us would believe
would lead to me reminding you to breathe.


Twenty-two laborious hours, 

twice as long as her brother,
on an empty stomach too, unless
you count that brief encounter

with a tuna-mayo sandwich, 
before the hollers wrenched me headlong
back to theatre, where my stand-in
was doing it all wrong.

At last, our little girl, 
made of love, moulded by will —
I clean forgot
why my hands were cramped or what
it was they had been trying to shape
from your back, your shoulders, your nape.


Brian Edwards