Tuesday, August 24, 2010

6:24 a.m. (Poem)

6:24 a.m.

In the first place,
you know it's a simple procedure —
a few big breaths,
some good timing
and no traffic.

You rehearse it in the front seat,
the VW hiccuping down Connecticut,
veering right onto K,
neatly taking the circle at 23rd and Pennsylvania.

You go to all this trouble
and still they don't believe you.

    "Not far enough along,"
    some on-call resident guesses.
    "Too few contractions, Ma'am."

Back home,
the wine runs out;
champagne and a couple of beers
don't help.
Not to mention dear father-in-law's cigars,
that talent he has for sucking air out of the room.

3:30 a.m.
Your mother's fidgeting with pink ribbons
reminds you of pigtails
dipped in a school boy's inks.
You dream of hoisting Danish flags
all over America.

Jacob's putting this off
but you know, you know, he's so tired of waiting.

The doctor's tired of waiting,
his third styrofoam cuppa' forgotten somewhere.

    (The books? They don't prepare you for this.)

3:51 a.m.
It's all fairy tales in OR.
Somebody gives you the needle
and tells you to push.

Not one thing happens.
Not at 4:05
or 5:37
or 6:06 a.m.

You catch a breath.
Now and then your fat German nurse
wipes a sweaty slim blonde brow.

David does a dizzy dance,
the green walls begin to slide,
and then it's everybody yellin'


    (Not for the last time, you think.)

You notice, though, the gauzed-mouthed doctor,
all rubber-handed precision,
beaming his whites now.

6:24 a.m.
Jacob, sticky
and red as a sun-shined berry,
throws you a laugh
in the overhead mirror.

after this long time waiting,
your hands beat the air,
yours and you in love again.

© 2010 Maureen E. Doallas

This poem is  for the Tuesday, August 24, Blog Carnival sponsored by Bridget Chumbley at One Word at a Time.

The Blog Carnival is a biweekly online event open to anyone. Participants write on a one-word prompt or topic. This week's one word is "children".

At Bridget's place you'll find a list of links to all of the contributions, which are posted throughout Tuesday and often through to the end of the week.

The Blog Carnival's FaceBook page is here.

The prompt for the next Blog Carnival, on Tuesday, September 7, is "hope". The complete schedule of prompts through the end of the year also is available at Bridget's.


Glynn said...

Having been there for the birth of my two, I think you've described it perfectly.

Louise Gallagher said...

wow -- this was pretty powerful there Maureen.

Thank you for bringing us there for such a miracle as your son's birth.

Maureen said...

This was written for friends. The new mother is Danish. The baby was born in a D.C. hospital.

Hannah Stephenson said...

So fantastic and quirky! I love the times, the way the narrative progresses.

katdish said...

Absolutely LOVED this, Maureen!

Anonymous said...

Oh I'm crying.

Unknown said...

Totally loved it...quite a tribute to new life!

Anne Lang Bundy said...

Oh yes. Few of life's joys come close to birthing new life ... worth every ounce of pain.

Wonderful. Absolutely wonderful, Maureen.

Laura said...

Brilliant! I have so missed your poetry, Maureen. It's going to take me a while to catch up. I take a week off and don't regret it but when I come back to this? I'm going to be up all night.

Suz said...

beautiful music
brought to life
this was so beautiful
an a fine tribute for our friend

Unknown said...

Well told, Maureen! Well told.

Anonymous said...

Such a beautiful moment. Wonderfully written, Maureen.