The kneewoman comes
to lift him from the safety of his sac
into the coffin we made
to keep his sleeping form.
I nurse him two days
after the milk comes in. A week later
I walk in gannet shoes, feet silenced
by their leather, his jaw sealed shut,
my breasts asking for
something to feed
the way brambles ask
for fingers to peel off their fruit
to break branches with its weight.
His mouth will not milk me now.
I swear, I will nurse the pufflings
squealing for fish in their burrows
if I can feed nothing else.
Fiona Cartwright is a poet and conservation scientist. Her poems have appeared in various journals including Magma, Mslexia, Interpreter’s House and Ink, Sweat and Tears. Her debut pamphlet, Whalelight, is available here (https://www.dempseyandwindle.