A poem from Misadventure, Richard Meier's first collection, which won the Picador Poetry Prize in 2010.
IV – Portrait of a woman in the first weeks of pregnancy
Not a study in consolidation –
but a woman holding out a slate before her,
a slate upon which sits a drop of mercury,
a drop that wants to stick together,
wants to come apart ... A woman who
stands on a boat of some kind, running
at every pitch, scrambling at every yaw,
to stop the drop from slipping, spilling,
lest, if it should fall, it would become
a million grief-filled molecules breathed in for ever more.
A woman who, after a good while of this,
is starting to get the gist, to grin.
A woman who may even be dancing