Poem of the Week | August 01, 2022

This week’s Poem of the Week is “newborn” by Heidi Seaborn.

Heidi Seaborn is author of [PANK] Poetry Prize winner An Insomniac’s Slumber Party with Marilyn Monroe, the acclaimed debut Give a Girl Chaos and Comstock Chapbook Award-winning Bite Marks. Recent work in Blackbird, Beloit, Brevity, Copper Nickel, Cortland Review, diode, Financial Times of London, The Offing, Penn Review, Radar, The Slowdown and elsewhere. Heidi is Executive Editor of The Adroit Journal and holds an MFA from NYU. heidiseabornpoet.com



the BBC says we are bordering
        on another cold war
              & outside a surprise
                    snowfall cloaking
                            steeple & square

the few footsteps to scurry
      a loaf of bread for
          breakfast I hunger for
                certainty eggs in the fridge
                        the weather report

says flu-
      like symptoms the price
            of oil ricocheting
                    the snow still

born during arming
        I know there was violence
              in the far dark
                    woods of my childhood
                          the race
                                  to power power

& now hello you
        born during a nuclear
              warning warning
                              war in the far
                                      country far
                                              away maybe

I see each daffodil
              willing winter gone
                          geese bleating

the cry of a newborn
          to distract &
                attract like
                        a magnificent force
                                all those atoms
                                      accumulating into


Author’s Note

It was February 17th, the talk of war was everywhere, that Russia was about to invade Ukraine, and it could lead to another cold war. We had an unexpected snow that morning as I sat at my desk listening to the news, but also waiting for news that my first granddaughter had been born. Everything felt uncertain. The poem surfaced from that uncertainty. The war news triggered my memory of the past, of growing up with the threat of nuclear war with Russia. And yet, here was this new life, imminent too. The poem is processing the past, war and birth. When my granddaughter arrived early the next morning, it felt like a delicate counterpoint to the war—a beautiful new life powering hope.