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Night Birth

by John Doorty

His Father:

Spring’s long outstrretched
bare arms
bringing life
the still air
though not as cold as winter,
the black night sky.

Dan Daley:

Into it we have risen
in the middle of the night
and decided it is time -
now of all times.
Two wet ears and cauled white head,
two feet,
a tongue awry
like a sneer at us;
this is all for now.
He said, now,
hold on tight
and down we went,
our weight evenly, slowly
back on the rope.
And the cow, she’s been here before
she knows it’s time to hollow in
and push.
At the hips
we lift and shift,
almost there,
less time to spare now,
keep on the rope again
and they’re free.

His Father:

With a rude awakening slap
cold water
or wind blown down the ear
it shakes its head,
two wet ears flap
it’s on its own.


Taken from ‘Footprints on the Limestone’ (1993), page 30.

© Copyright John Doorty

John Doorty

Anthony Edwards