Early As Early Can Be by Helen Grant (Lucent Dreaming Issue 11)

Due to limited control of our formatting on posts, the formatting of the following poem is incorrect.

coffee doesn’t taste the same in fact caffeine can be a killer i now often keel over
whilst pregnant during showers dry retching dry or vomiting in the circling water
on my washed feet a cot doesn’t matter
nor the cheap but whatican’t easilybuybabygrows in Barnados
and all i can think of that does matter is cots
i walk parallel for a while with a new mum and her child in a pram and there is no parallel between us there aren’t little feet pushing inside my belly but what would eventually become feet floating somewhere in my belly notquitebabyfeet floating
eternally in the vastness of space my fleeting not quite baby in the fleeting universe
of me i keep hearing on repeat in a few separate voices if it was a different time
but what can that mean it has happened you unmet but felt and that’s
the only timing that matters i continue to sip coffee though it continues to make
me sick it cools and i chug it and i debate an overdose of vitamin C and intake of black
and blue cohosh because the expected cramp and blood has got to be better than this blasted waiting for an abortion
i’ve never felt so alone though my body has never been so accompanied
do you have a sense of consciousness developed yet between the pumps of our
shared blood my own life seems as far from me now
as the remaining ice caps to the remaining polar bears further and fewer
in between are these cold lands of life it’s done
the wait is over i can put pen to paper still feel poetry but when read back
everything reads like a prayer never to be answered maybe because i’ve played god
with what could be born out of my life i stand
in the shower not quite being sick and hold my stomach and think of all the parallels with hell
i have trodden upon and i am so sorry that my womb
wasn’t a home you were safe in but a temporary bedsit
with the curtains pulled back far too early to what i can only hope felt like daylight


Helen Grant has been published in several magazines such as The Poetry Review, The North, Stand and Acumen. She has been longlisted for The Live Canon award 2019, shortlisted for The Mairtin Crawford award 2019 and Creative Future Writer’s award 2020 and was a finalist in The League of Poets competition 2021. She recently moved to the Falkland Islands.

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Lucent Dreaming is an independent creative writing magazine and book publisher for beautiful, imaginative and surreal fiction, poetry and artwork from emerging authors and artists worldwide. Subscribe to Lucent Dreaming now, support us on Patreon and follow us on TwitterFacebook and Instagram

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