The waves of ultrasound
probe the womb you float in
and trace your shape on the printout
that slides like a tongue
from the whirring computerbank.
You’re there in white, almost actual size,
a podding blob against the blackness
that could be a new-spawned milky galaxy,
a spiral at the lens’s centre
of a mid-western radio-telescope,
or an image of Baghdad from the night-bombing
briefed on in Centcom,
snapped by a priceless bird they set roaming
in fluid geosynchronous ovals.
But I want to think of you as Prague glimpsed on a night-flight,
a city glittering with the flimsy light
of the million people you will not become
and the one, touch wood, that you someday might
or as the moon in the river
under South Gate Bridge,
a bright and wrinkled disc upon the Beamish Lee.
You are a swirl of milk in a coffee cup,
the stuff that makes the black stuff white.