Three poems by Zoë Sîobhan Howarth-Lowe


The Caesarean


The door was shut.
A window – nine inches square,
strengthened with thin wire grid lines –
provided my father with his only way in.

He watched through pixelated glass
unable see them carve me, his baby, out.
Instead his eyes fixed on my mother’s face,
turned towards him,
her drugged eyes were open, staring.



First Hours


I was delivered by c-section,
then, my mother and I, both fast asleep

were taken to a room full of nurses,
one spotted my father, watching,

half-hidden in a doorway,
she called him in, handed me over,

and he held me,
pressed against his shoulder,

the liquids of birth
still smeared across my face.

He held me, wouldn’t let go,
refused to allow the nurses

to take me to the nursery,
or place me in a cot.

He sat – waiting for my mother
to wake up, wanting me
to be the first thing she saw.



Image on a Brass Lion


I catch a glimpse of us
merged for a moment
on a curve of lion.
The arch of its back
forces our two faces
to swim together.
Two Roman noses,
each with a nub
of bone along the ridge.
Our eyes,
once two separate sets of blue –
mine, periwinkle and watery,
yours, ink on parchment,
are now combined –
and for a second
I see with your eyes,
and I become the father,
gripping his daughter’s hand.


‘Image on a Brass Lion’ previously appeared in Magma, and in my Pamphlet ‘I have grown two hearts’ by Hedgehog Poetry Press.



Zoë has two pamphlets (from Half Moon Books & Hedgehog Press) and her First Collection is forthcoming with Indigo Dreams in 2021. Her work has appeared in various Anthologies and Journals. Her Dad is Ray. He is 75 and a keen Runner & railway enthusiast.
Twitter: @ZSHowarthLowe
Website: http://www.zshowarthlowe.com


Proud Father

Time Together

Zoë and her Dad, Ray

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