Fall Apart

By Magdelene Payne

This is based on an experience in Labour and Delivery that became dire very quickly. The previously well baby suddenly showed worrisome changes on the foetal heart monitor that required rapid intervention. Neonatology was called into the room to aid in what would likely be a negative outcome. The baby was very floppy as soon as he was delivered, and then there was silence as we all waited for a cry. He was put on positive pressure ventilation and transferred to the NICU where he died soon after. It was shocking in how quickly things deteriorated despite the efforts of both OBGYN and NICU teams. The outcome was a complete and utterly awful surprise.



Green wind devastates your Gossamer room
as we storm in
the seismic source in miniature scrawls life across the page
scattering ink claws
that write too fast and too slow

your screeching eyes assess this new audience
the expectant glued to the expectant
waves rip rivers, channel chaos
This is not what I wanted!
This is not how this goes!

Coax to the apex we shout
Push, push play, press mute
We pull your plum pit

And hollow you out

He’s here! Torrential nightmare
Pushes press to muted thrill

dry air extinguished
collective breath-holding fury
pricked ears for moth-breaths
but all is Silent and still
with a pressed puff, puff
whirring purr of pushed sighs

Miscellaneous drip and a tight grip
Silence still
Drip, grip