Saturday, June 30, 2007

Birth (New Jersey, 1967)

My mother's labor pains come six weeks early. Grandpop and Daddy carry her out of the house on a chaise lounge that has been sitting out by the pool. It is a warm June day and the Jersey shore air tastes of salt.

The floor of the hospital room gleams. My mother's torso contracts. The sheets get bloody.

I am tiny.

I fit into my father's big square hand. He has crooked eyebrows and his nose slopes to the left and his mouth is never still, but his hands are perfect. His fingers are kind and loyal and straight, the kind of fingers a new child's head can rest in, that hold almost steady as the fontanelle pulses against new air.

I can't go home. I am wrapped and wrapped in a cotton blanket so my limbs can't flail and I am gently placed in an incubator. It is warm.

My mother takes the medicine that the doctor gives her to dry up her milk. She has beautiful breasts. The air is humid.

My father feeds me first. One giant hand cradles me. The other hand holds a bottle. The plastic nipple grazes my cheek and I turn my head toward it. I begin to suck. The formula is sweet.

I lay in my father's hand rocking gently, gently, like I am floating in the ocean.

2 Comments:

Blogger Ali la Loca said...

All of these entries - the ones I'm catching up on because I've been away traveling - are breathtaking. I love your style, I love you you draw in a reader. I want to know more of your stories.

10:39 AM  
Blogger joyfish said...

Thank you very much Ali. My greatest wish is to connect with others and share experiences as deeply as I can through writing.

And, I'll have to catch up on your travels soon. Thanks for stopping by!

10:43 AM  

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