Canto LIV

Perhaps it’s because Harryhausen’s flicks
formed the bedrock of my infant mind,
that I can see the cannibalistic

crones that wield the one all-seeing eye
in 1981’s Clash of the Titans—
which I admit is not exactly kind

to these three nurses, each taking a turn
to slide the scanner across my wife’s tummy,
while mumbling incoherent medi-jargon.

They do not seem to find my wizecracks funny
so I stay focused on the flickering screen,
the sudden forms that loom out from the fuzzy

ultrasonic storm, I think I’ve seen
a set of fingers, gone, and then the toes,
the string of little bones that make the spine.

One nurse says, in a misanthropic tone,
“What will I do with this baby?” It bounces
every time she wants it still and won’t

turn around for her when she commands it.
“That’s it kid,” I whisper, “fight the power!
Leave these grumpy witch-nurses confounded!”

It’s only back home, in the later hours
I find the time to scan the image file,
display it on the screen of my computer

and gaze upon the face of my first child.


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. peter litton
    Aug 25, 2012 @ 14:19:22

    The last line comes as a shock and changes the whole feel of the poem.
    I guess that was its intent.


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