Poetry: A Cannon Ready For Me
The natural world often mirrors back to us our most primal acts. Looking to a horse giving birth, the poem’s speaker transmutes themselves between a human and horse the startling brightness of motherhood. What makes a poem of nature so powerful is the speaker’s unwillingness to flinch from the pain of childbirth while also leaning into tenderness.
A Cannon Ready For Me
The horse appears bright
as a cannon. Having stumbled
into motherhood, I am mute, led away,
an animal with a child on its back, the one
I give up on a bed in a florescent room.
The doctor names her Finished.
I hear the heartbeat, the one they made me
listen to, cantering down the hallway.
Shannon Elizabeth Hardwick's work has appeared, or is forthcoming, in Salamander Magazine, Salt Hill, Maudlin House, The Texas Observer, PANK, Four Way Review, Diologist, Harpur Palate, Four Way Review, Passages North, among others. A graduate of Sarah Lawrence College's MFA program, Hardwick serves as the poetry editor for The Boiler Journal.