Edite Haberman and
Helen Whittaker

Edite Haberman
It’s a Girl – Bad Dream Baby


Bad Dream Baby
By Helen Whittaker

Inspiration piece

My bad dream baby is a daughter.

My belly waxes like the time-lapse Moon,

The husk of my womb breaks open.

Other times she falls like midnight snow;

I wake to the sound of her breathing.


The stage is always dressed the same.

I’m locked in a seventies motel room

With bricked-up windows.

Above the candlewick bedspread

A bare bulb swings like a noose.


Her crying splits me open.

I look for her in the drawer divan,

Check the bedside table and the mini bar.

In the mock-rococo wardrobe a blue-skinned Kali

Juggles formula and baby wipes.


She came to me again last night,

Brown curls on dimpled cheeks,

Pudgy hands outstretched, calling ‘Mummy’.

I took a pen from the pocket of my white coat

And made a tick on my clipboard.


I am tired of carrying the weight

Of what I have to tell her.

Breaking the news of death is performance art.

Young medics rehearse in front of the mirror.

How do I tell this stranger

As close as a heartbeat

That she will never be born?



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