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The Birth

Seven o’clock. The seventh day of the seventh month of the year.
No sooner have I got myself up in lime-green scrubs,
A sterile cap and mask,
And taken my place at the head of the table

Than the windlass-woman ply their shears
And gralloch-grub
For a footling foot, then, warming to their task,
Haul into the inestimable

Realm of apple-blossoms and chanterelles and damsons and eel-spears
And foxes and the general hubbub
Of inkies and jennets and Kickapoos with their lemniscs
Or peekaboo-quiffs of Russian sable

And tallow-unctuous vernix, into the realm of the widgeon-
The ‘whew’ or ‘yellow-poll’, not the ‘zuizin’-

Dorothy Aoife Korelitz Muldoon: I watch through floods of tears
As they give her a quick rub-a-dub
And whisk
Her off to the nursery, then check their staple-guns for staples


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Poem The Birth - Paul Muldoon