Katie Hale

Katie Hale

My Mother Visits Neodesha

After seventy years     the hospital still remembers
your luminous cry    

and the first galvanic breath
that set it off     your own voice
the only thing you could be sure of
as you met the midwife’s hands    
                                                                and your father still
a whole town and its outskirts away
on the stoop     blowing deep notes across a bottle

See how the wards have opened
their double doors     let all their furniture issue
into the sun          

                            See how the iron-frame beds
in the parking lot     jostle
and clasp each other at the sight of us

Hear their decades of rust whisper
look     see who has finally come home

KATIE HALE’s debut novel, My Name is Monster, was published by Canongate in 2019. She is the author of two poetry pamphlets: Breaking the Surface (2017) and Assembly Instructions (2019), which won the Munster Fool for Poetry Chapbook Prize.