I feel niggles of cramps, sitting in the green recliner, tired after shopping & think, could this be it? No, it’s two weeks early. But all night those keep-on-coming-back clenchings & command my body, BEHAVE, like you hold your breath to get rid of hiccups & ignore them, go to church anyway & to the Pantry but I’m not hungry & can’t wait for home to collapse on couch exhausted from fighting & this can’t be it, can it? & watch the second hand on kitchen clock – five minutes – what
should I do? & call Mel and Jan & sit on the floor while Sonia plays plasticine & another one possesses my body...Hurry Ernie!
Four minutes! & Ernie at last & at Jan and Mel’s a trickle & gush!
Borrow beach towel & drift in and out & parking lot lights &
breathe, blow, breathe, blow & step, breathe, step, blow
& breathe, blow & oh! oh! & breathe, blow &
face in mine “Slow down. Look at me”
& oh! oh! let go &
It’s a boy!
& it’s over – that’s all there is?
& he’s warm, lively, skin to skin & they put a stocking toque on him
& we laugh, then they roll him away & the nine months is over & I can’t stop smiling
& my body’s mine again & I can’t stop smiling & finally Benjamin & I can’t stop smiling.
Copyright © 2003 by Violet Nesdoly