Glossary of birthing terms

Marisa Cappetta 2014

Her foot is a page in an atlas,
a map of her birth road.

She is slung in a hammock oriented
between theodolites of twin aunts.

Her grandmothers harvest
long grass along the shoreline

and weave a cradle, dolls with
downy hair, and a birthing blanket.

For the first nine months her father
is a whisper in her ear,

her mother a thunder of heartbeat.
When she is nursed and nuzzled

she sees them as an aerial survey,
or nine patch quilt blocks.

She is a transparency of veins, like roads
overlaid on the contours of her parents.