Two poems by Hannah Brockbank

Three Month Scan

At first
you are a grainy
shifting thing,

indistinct to my eye,
caught in a squall
of wavering flesh.

But then I see you;
the bone-white flash
of bowed ribs,

fin rays of fingers
fleshing out,
your articulated spine

twitching and hardening
in the dark pool
of my womb.

And later,
in the dim lit café,
I saw you again

reproduced on paper.
Your first photo,
your skeleton, a fossil

imprinted on a background
of black rock,
was so pure and brilliant

to my wide eyes
that I couldn’t see anyone else
but you.




On examination
not stone, but rather
a child’s crayoned picture
of a tree,
thick and dull edged,
an imperfect circle
of canopy,
vessels sprawled,
the last wavered branches
thin and decreased
at the top.
the paler twist of vine
has been cut, cells transformed,
hardened to heartwood,
stiff and ungiving.


All the way home
I couldn’t shake the thought
of you (after all,
I’d carried you for nine months too)
slowly cooling on a tray;
a biohazard
to be incinerated
next to a stranger’s tumour
or amputated leg.
I should’ve wrapped you
in wax paper
tied securely with blue cord,
and taken you home;
buried you
under our dying apple tree
to give life again.

Hannah Brockbank is joint winner of the 2016 Kate Betts Award. Publications featuring her work include Hallelujah for 50ft Women Anthology (Bloodaxe), A Way through the Woods Anthology (Binsted Arts), Full Moon & Foxglove Anthology (Three Drops Press), The London Magazine, Envoi, and When Women Waken Journal. Her poems also featured in the Chalk Poets Anthology as part of the 2016 Winchester Poetry Festival. She has also written feature essays for Thresholds International Short Story Forum. Her first pamphlet, Bloodlines is published by Indigo Dreams Publishing. She is currently studying for a Ph.D. at the University of Chichester.

Twitter @hannahbrockbank


Instagram @hannahbrockbankwriter

Our JustGiving page is open for donations to the Children’s Heart Surgery Fund – no amount is too small if you feel moved to support.


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