I compose myself and click on the light.
Inhale – slowly and with purpose.
Pashmina wrapped shoulders,
elbow cinched to hold in place the moment.
Held; cupped in the hot hinge,
folded away into that cloth pinch,
I am alone in this room,
but I will not huddle,
I am tearless now, and striding outwards.
The transformation is almost complete:
an embryo suspended in amniotic fluid;
swelling as we fast-forward through months
of tentative pre-natal footage, recorded
by anxious doctors at the I.V.F. clinic.
Hold the negative up against time and watch
as it changes: a microscopic expanding circle,
throbbing with a faint pulse. A globe encapsulating
hope. See the arm as it flexes for the first time,
and the legs curl up, toes arching to touch the nose.
Months of tests and medications, daily injections
into yesterday’s bruises, result in a growing bump
that started as an uncertain blip on the ultrasound.
Now we see a somersaulting black and white image,
trying to kick its way out of the photograph.
*Ultrasound was first published in Picaroon Poetry.
Zoë Sîobhan Howarth-Lowe is a Poet and Mum from Dukinfield. She has an MA in Poetry from Bath Spa University. Her work has appeared in Magma, Curly Mind, Clear Poetry, Lakeview Journal, Interpreter’s House, Picaroon Poetry and The Lake amongst others. She also enjoys wargaming, painting models and scrapbooking.
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