Up until the morning you gave birth,
I could not feel the boy’s impending presence,
I could not see how we were going to fit him
into our lives, like a lift unexpectedly depositing
guests into the middle of the living room
and we rapidly scramble to make space, find beds.
Or like prying a crowbar between the iron doors
of our shut-tight lives and tossing in
a grenade. Like the dream I had
of the house being built on the hill just behind us
and the workers told me to stay away
until it was ready. Only then
did I get a feel of his coming, and gingerly
laid a hand on your belly and slept.
Charles G Lauder Jr is an American poet who has lived in the UK for several years. He has published two pamphlets: Bleeds (2012) and Camouflaged Beasts (2017), and he is the Assistant Editor for The Interpreter’s House.