A bit of an adjunct to my last post. I was looking at my Bruce Dawe anthology when I just came across this - Katrina. I shall type it here in full.
Katrina, you are now suspended between earth and sky.
Tubes feed you glucose intravenously. Naked you lie.
In your special room in Ward Fifteen. Is your life
Opening again or closing finally? We do not know, but fear
The telephone call from a nurse whose distant sympathy
Will be a measure of our helplessness. Your twin brother's
Two month old vigour hurts us, remembering
Thin straws of sunlight on your bowed legs kicking
In defiance of your skickness, you body's wasting.
Against the black velvet of death threatening
You life shines like a jewel, each relapse a flash of light
The more endearing. Your mother greaves already, so do I.
Miracles do not tempt us. We are getting in early.
Although we know there is no conditiong process which can counter
The karate blow when it comes,
No way we can arrange the date-pad to conceal
The page tornoff, crumpled, thrown away.
Katrina I had in mind a prayer, but only this came,
And you are still naked between earth and sky.
Transfusion-wounds in your heels, your dummy taped in your mouth.
As far as I can determine Katrina was not premature, she and her brother were well babies, however when living in Malaysia, Katrina contracted malaria at 2 months old, and this is about her illness.
Katrina is now a mother herself!