Daughter of the Red Cliffs

The instant the Blue Woman’s daughter
was born, the earth spoke harshly:
everyone listened, some ran out of the hospital,
some crossed themselves and muttered prayers
to the blessed virgin.

Like any mother warning an intruder
to stay away from her child,
the Blue Woman screamed
with the final flexing of muscles
that pushed her daughter
into the attending midwife’s hands
and the earth backed up three paces,
spoke again, but softer, conceding,
then grumbled its discontent
in another part of the city.

copyright © 2021 Kenneth P. Gurney