Monday, May 14, 2012


Things to do while waiting for child: Read poetry. Do laundry. Cut toenails. Drink tea. Go for walk. Pluck wildflowers. Stare at said wildflowers. Look up said wildflowers in wildflower book and wonder, will you remember the names of those very wildflowers tomorrow? Scrub counters. Pick up books and set them down. Make tea. Sit on stone step in sunshine and try to identify birdsongs. Identify very few. Wonder when you will ever learn birdsongs, and how. Think about your downy limbed daughter and smile with wonder. Pick at dry skin on ankles and toes. Wonder if you will ever, in your life, get a pedicure. Walk to your mother’s fields to pull witch grass and weeds. Feel your fingernails pulse with dirt. Grow tired and pitch yourself back in the sun. Remember you need water. Walk home for water. Feast on cheese and condiments. Think about cleaning the refrigerator. If the baby comes today, will someone else clean it for you? Pick up that book again. Fall asleep on the couch. Wake to the ring of the telephone in confluence with the buzz of the refrigerator. Don’t pick up the phone. Listen to your daughter’s robust voice singing the message. Smile with wonder. Wonder who’s inside you. Go back outside to the stone step. Watch a jay chase a crow through the hemlocks downhill. Stare at the near-budding lilacs, the ripe tip of the not-yet-opened tulip. Smell your husband on you. Talk to yourself. Or is it to your baby? Think about that pint of ice cream in the freezer.  Pine for weeds to pull closer to home. Wish you had a farm so you could be distracted: you’d like to be on hands and knees in the garden when your water breaks, like farmwomen of the forties. Remember the laundry. Hang it on the line. Sit in a chair in the sunshine and watch it blow. Wonder: today, or two weeks from now? Put your hand where your child is kicking. Say, hi there. And, who are you? Look at the clock. Be grateful it’s almost time to pick your daughter up from school. Think how much you miss her. Take last sip of cold tea. Put unread book inside. Wonder what you’ll cook for dinner. Stare at your feet. Stare for a good while at the slow-billowing clouds before you climb into the car and get on with your day.