Louisa Adjoa Parker





The baby fattens quickly
as a lamb, puts four pounds on
in a month. She’s a tiny fireball:
her constant cries flare brightly
night and day. I make her fennel tea
and wash away my milk from where
it runs into the creases in her neck.
My sister’s gone to Switzerland.
The baby likes it when we dance
and I sing along to Neneh Cherry.
Seven seconds soon becomes her song.
I have to see her belly rise and fall.
I have to make sure death
isn’t just around the corner.
I have to make sure it won’t come
and crash into our lives again.




Louisa Adjoa Parker writes poetry, fiction and history. Her poetry collection Salt-sweat and Tears was published in 2007. Her poems and stories have appeared in various publications. She was highly commended by the Forward Prize, and shortlisted by the Bridport Prize.

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