Monday, May 21, 2012


Rise at 4:30 this morning, unable (again) to sleep: racket of peepers, robins, thrushes through the trees. Slip downstairs (quietly, past sleeping girl’s open door), thinking of last night’s solar eclipse, visible over the Pacific Ocean, of barefoot women in such places, of bonfires and jars of wine and the view from behind parted leaves.
Make oatmeal and tea. Dip the honey with the silver baby spoon found in a box in the far corner of the barn. Pour milk from the half-gallon Mason jar leaving moon-shaped drips across the floor. Think about sleep, and what you wouldn’t give for a full night of it. Think about the lilacs and their heady splendor.  Listen for footsteps upstairs. Sip that tea: leaves grown by women on shambas halfway across the world. Think of a girl you once knew on a shamba halfway across the world—Grace—and how much she reminds you of your own. Want your baby to come. Want this present, quiet, time of waiting to never end. Think of your husband, upstairs sleeping, half-covered by the white sheet. Smell the lilacs’ heady splendor. Smell the grass—fresh mown. Smell the tea—leaves grown by women on shambas halfway across the world. Remember those melodious, bird-filled Kenyan mornings. Pour more tea. Dip more honey. Drip more milk across the floor. Feel your breasts leak in harmony: yolk-yellow colostrum. Hear a body turning, a body waking, the wood thrush through the pines. And then your favorite birdsong: Mama, is it morning?