And now to business; one kneels to the linen chest, raises the lid
for swaddling, one fills a shallow dish, one spreads towels, one
dabbles water with her fingertips.
Two conspire. Two console her, offer her the child.
But what concerns her here is what’s outside the curtained door,
what comes after.
Nothing more, they tell her, nothing worse.
One wipes the hefty wooden secateurs one drags a sodden mop,
two bundle sheets and rags, one tends the stove. One leaves and
comes back with the priest.
From In Praise of Men (2003)