Labor Night

pregnant womanHer world is upside down,
waiting for the baby.
She paces in the night
and sleeps the day.
She has cleaned every corner
of the house,
rearranged things twice,
then started on the garage.
Her belly so round,
so full of grace,
she cannot feel her legs
or in between them.
All this will have to wait.

For him there is nothing romantic
in the coming.
When there’s not one
more inch to spare,
one more ounce of air,
he’ll push his way
into the new world.

For now,
there is still time
between the violent seconds.
She rises in the night,
to cook the peppers,
pops the stems and scatters seeds,
and marvels at their colors—
yellow, orange, red and green.
Christmas in the air!

But life starts with a fight,
a gritting of his will
and single-mindedness.
Necessity, the mother of invention.
For his first breath,
he parts her bone,
slow and hard
like the resurrection,
and moving of the stone.

Copyright © 2000 Susan Dane • All rights reserved.
Selection from GOOD-BYE TO WHITE KNIGHTS and other moving vehicles—II. Coming to Herself.