Eight days

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

that threatens
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 MagmaMslexia, Interpreter’s House and Ink, Sweat and Tears. Her debut pamphlet, Whalelight, is available here (https://www.dempseyandwindle.com/fiona-cartwright-443431.html) and she tweets @sciencegirl73.