It was a month for death
I guess, or seemed that way at least,
When little losses swept
Like leaves against the trees and made
A litter where you lay, half born,
A broken little thing
Still slick with birth juice,
All blind and oily, trembling
A frantic frequency.

I felt your life was coiled
In that ring tailed muscular knot
That bound you boa tight –
A serpent strangling – knuckled white
And fraught. Your time unwinding meant
The stress was holding at
The threshold, where the light
Bends back upon itself and waits
And there is nothing else.

I tried to climb you back
Into your tree. An easy height
I thought, just far enough
So that your mother would descend
To where the knotted branches made
A secret hiding place
From time and other threats
That scuttle in the dirt and write
Scripture for the Zulu gods.

But I was un-careful
With you, or else you meant to fall,
You twitched and slipped and arched
Into a final spiral. And
I watched and knew that now the blame
Was mine, the traumas passed
Are stains that will not wash,
And I am scarred by running fast
And failing. Always. Stop.