One day more. Another day another destiny.
-from ‘Les Miserables’
I don’t have much to say, on the eve of my c-section. I heard Quentin yell from his room this morning “ONE MORE DAY!” One more day of kick counts. One more day of injections. One more night of anxiety-related non-sleep. By this time tomorrow, we will already be at the hospital.
I have had prompts planned out for myself for months, to help keep me writing, now down to the last one. Below are some lines I’ve compiled over the past few weeks.
Let the world stop spinning
Let me hold hope for a quiet minute
And shake dusty anticipation from my hair
How did I arrive in this place?
224 days ago, such a remote possibility that I would see this day
It was such a faint, faraway moment
A tiny glimmer, flicker of shape
Hope in becoming fully formed
A thousand tears and shaking breaths later
Pounding heart and aching limbs aside
Every day, every hour, a step
Now, final inches ounces pounds
Moments running out of time, into time
Certainty in the unknown
Writing to anchor the moment in time
Heed the final space on the path
I can see it ahead, reach it
Touch it with only the slightest quiver
Fully formed, running out of time
Waiting for that final cry
waiting for a change a step sideways
growth in unwelcome circumstance
nausea swelling dizzy
aching tired frightened
all comes back to chance
circle, hope, fire
When Death came
He was quiet and unassuming
A silent slip from one moment
into the subsequent.
No vigil, no disaster, no fanfare
But a small flicker.
It was a mysterious and unknown intrusion
When Death passed through me
Not next to me
Not beside me
Not in front of me
But through all of my defenses
Stealing a tiny life.
Leaving only a brief fragment
Where a baby should have thrived.
From a tender, inviting womb
To a hard, unfeeling hospital
Death… sent my daughters
Into the cold.
But they never knew.
Only warmth surrounded them
While their hearts were beating.
No energy 2:00 am again cannot calm cannot sleep feeling nauseous worried about stress a bath sounds like too much work I love baths but cannot take one
Best chance for sleep 9pm to midnight then up every hour or two up and down in and out of fitful dreams and discomfort cannot sleep without feeling baby move every time every hour
No punctuation rumination just words around and around I wake with a fright with a start with a fear so bright I can’t breathe
Ache back side arms legs zero right to complain feel guilty
Write or risk losing the words as the clock creeps toward 3:00 am
On the branches of her confused optimism
A piece has turned to tender literature.
The woman’s end has, in fact, created her beloved.
Her experience finds this absurd; that’s the reality.
She despises the line between beginning and end;
It takes all hope away
Once, she’d loved, because she’d known since birth.
When she fell into the clenched fist, she was, in fact, hopeful.
She wrote, in order to keep from feeling guilty.
Writing down memory is a deeper process.
Pierced by silences, suffering went unspoken, understood.
She connected to what she was learning.
Just a voice on the page, certain of being heard.
The notes mark her work, inventing that song.
She could no longer be a swallowed spirit.
In memory, she decided to live for love