Tag Archive for 'loss of a baby'

Afterwards

a poem by Janina Karpinska

She
wakes you gently-a vision in blue nylon,

and
asks if you’re ready for a cup of tea.

You
seem to be wearing an invisible helmet,

alarmingly
made of concrete, making it difficult to hear.

It
takes several attempts, and concerted effort,

just
short of hydraulics and pulleys, before

you
manage to lift your head up.

 

She
stands by you as you put your finger through the handle,

judging
its fit and weight-testing your strength as you

jerkily
swivel an articulated arm towards your mouth.

You
bring the two in alignment-using careful shifts

and
pauses-like the arm of a fun-fair machine-

maneuvering
over a grapple of prizes.

Excitement
as it reaches its target-a tiny sip,

a
dribble of success: mission accomplished.

 

You
tilt your head back, and swallow.

It’s
hot-the way you like it-almost solid,

like
a column of heat you can lean on.

Lukewarm wouldn’t have what it takes

to
support the weight of your head.

 

You’re
glad it’s not dark, or bitter; it’s a comfort,

soothing
and familiar, a little like kindness:

it
collects your tears as they silently fall,

like
it’s no big deal.

 

She
beams approval: you’re doing well; recovering nicely;

then
traffics past with her trolley-and-smiles.

 

Leaves
you holding the plain white cup

all
by yourself, grateful for its simplicity,

nothing
jazzy or fancy; busy or tiring; just

plain,
just this-white china, matching saucer.

 

You
start to get the hang of it,

ready
to contemplate the choice between

cellophane-wrapped
Madeira, or chocolate
biscuit. And,

as
you raise your cup higher, you notice in the bed opposite,

a
woman’s head, haloed by white pillows,

beside
a grotto of fruit and flowers.

Janina Karpinska is an artist-poet. She has an M.A. in Creative Writing & Personal Development(with merit) from Sussex University. She runs creative writing workshops in local shops and businesses: confessions / “coming clean” and “airing dirty laundry” @ the local launderette; a tattoo parlor; an aquatic store; an “adult boutique”-the most well attended. She would like to be a writing therapist attached to a general practice or ward. A poem about her father’s death is published in The Works vol 4 by Macmillan’s anthology of verse for children; a poem about her mother’s life-read at her funeral-is in a World Arts Platform publication on the theme of Home; a poem about being a failure has just been published in The Iron Book of New Humorous Verse. She loves experimental writers-and being experimental herself. She has started to “do” performance poetry: “She aspires to be normal / it’s her greatest ambition…”

Check out Janina’s interview, Reflections on Writing: Life, Laundry and Loss with Poet Janina Aza Karpinska, by poetry editor Tania Pryputniewicz.




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