Alison Lock

Lullaby

Swimming backstroke,
moving through a-rhythmic
laps of kindless waters. A bather,
who on picnic days would wade
in mountain streams, flick
water at her sisters, giggling,
‘Come on in’, you’d shout, waving,
but your arms are useless
now––wrapped around your baby, aching,
keeping her mouth and yours,
above the surface, straining,
to soothe her cries, and if you could,
you’d hum a lullaby.

Hush, little one, we’re on our way,
to a land of promises, far away.

Birds gyrate as they migrate
south as you pull north, you gasp
for air, you taste the salt
of sea as strong as blood.

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