in the room, all the machines were put
to work sorting blood and fluids and measuring pulse
and output and temperature and oxygen.
in hush, in hot blood
and wet fluid flow, finally emerging,
a baby whale washed up
on unfriendly shores, stunned eyes,
beached skin, water bloated. the ride, the waves
out of mother’s body were a long journey,
the child not well adapted to this place.
no lightning strike, no villagers, no pitchfork welcome,
only machines begin their work
Janice Leach has edited three volumes of Quick Shivers from Dailynightmare.com. She is co-author along with her partner of a volume of poetry, Til Death, coming from Raw Dog Screaming Press in 2016.