The ultrasound

Grainy television footage
indefrom outer space.
And then we see you, tiny astronaut,
indein thrall to your human hands.
Your ribs cast a tent of
indelight, dramatic and impossible.
Your normal morphology is
indepointed out to us, organ
by organ: your bifurcated brain,
indethe chambers of your heart,
your spine, your face — surprisingly
indefamiliar and haunting.
The radiologist gives you back
indeto darkness and to patience.
In the lobby, we pay the bill
indefor this experience. Part
silent movie, part surveillance.

Putting the baby to sleep
In this time of no-time
(colours slipping into dawn),
this search for the ghost
of being is a concentration
of bodies, a ritual of
gesture and sound
(murmuring and washing
machines). It is a watching
of clocks and their
slow workings of minutes,
followed by the
awkward gymnastics of
placing the sleeper into a cot,
and the laying on of hands
when eyes flick open
(like a minor tragedy).
Returning to the darkness
of bed, your body is
as taut as a horse.

David McCooeyDavid McCooey is a poet, critic, and academic. His first colleciton of poems, Blister Pack, won the Mary Gilmore Award in 2006. He is the Deputy General Editor of the forthcoming Macquarie PEN Anthology of Australian Literature. He works at Deakin University (Geelong).

Topic tags: David McCooey, new australian poems, Ultrasound, Putting the baby to sleep



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