The 2016 Literary Supplement

Birthday

Poetry ❖ Written by : Sophie Panzer

She thought she would give birth in a world
where Hawaii had been swallowed by the ocean
where bear skeletons littered Arctic seabeds
where sharks snapped in the watery remains of Miami.

She thought she would have to feed her child in a world
of plastic soil and toxic fruits
of burning rainwater, acid rivers
of garbage islands in browning seas.

She thought she would raise her child in a world
of a thousand new Atlantises
of lands without seasons
of barely-remembered snow.

Instead she gives birth in a world
where electricity still hums
where supermarkets still stand
where snow falls gently outside hospital windows.

She is too young,
the baby is too early,
but the world has not ended yet.