‘Quickening’ is the word used to describe the first foetal movements felt by a mother of her unborn child.


When I first heard the sound of your heart,

it was so loud it filled the room – boom.

The quickening was quiet and quicker than I knew –

you were part of me

and I was part of you.


And it’s true,

that when I was a little girl

flying too fast on a homemade sledge down a farmer’s hill

towards a barbed-wire fence,

it was the quickening that woke my mother from her sleep

and made her fly, quicker than she knew, to find me

just in time

to pull me out before I was in too deep.


Know that wherever you go and whatever you do,

you’re part of me

and I’m part of you –

I’ll feel the quickening our whole lives through.