The hen recognises its slicked baby
crouched on the clovered grass,
legs like needles, shell in finished pieces.
The dolphin slips love to its calf with milk,
choreographs a contoured dance.
The lioness silhouettes the ground, prowls
a motherly ferocity, shadows her cubs,
growls at any creature who treads nearby.
In the velvet hours of night
my flesh and bones ease
into the tub chair, son slumped
with sleep-warmth along belly curve,
his questioning eyes hazelled
by the moon. I unbutton my nightshirt
at the first cry, but I’m unsure of the nature
of his call. I have to stand.
My back burns with blossom
and hedgerow, my son clings pink
against my hip.