The Thing About Babies and Change

1. the thing about babies is that you don’t know how much, exactly

is gonna change,

besides, say, everything in the practical, emotional,

physical, …

but you don’t really know

so much like

even now on my third,

how will the labor & delivery go

how short, how long,

how much breath will i be able to pull in

between each surging contraction, each wave pulling us to

each beach

& will my focus be so much better than the last times

i birthed?

how much will i change?

will her eyes be lighter than my eldest daughter’s

hair curly curly or straight

ahead eyes heart serious yet glimmering-

will i rest in the calm of dim lights

and how much sleep will i remember

i can go without?

how much will my heart mush to see

brothers and sisters meeting

meeting

for the first time?

how tired, how languid, flushed with fatigue and love will i be?

so i’m doing these things now,

a sitting, ripening plum,

halfway between industry and rest,

near-continual heartburn

to the occasional forgetting i’m even pregnant

somehow maybe only in sleep.

(who am i kidding? i’m restless and big).

and today we built cupcakes sanded with sugar,

read three books before 7:30, dishes soaped and put away;

today we burried 48 morning glory, nurtured and snipped spreading leaves,

and i was patient, more than before.

we laundered, we showered,

created, & put away.

killed one harmful caterpillar

curled up in leaves like a sleeping bag;

i rescued one spider and carried him outside.

we sang lots of songs and i know we sure danced,

laughter pooling inside and out, onto the patio, out to the driveway and back.

11. every day is the same and yet so very different

i can tell time is folding and growing our family

and stretching our long legs.

my memories sugar on the counter from this afternoon,

a coating that sticks to the floorboards and each uncovered little toe

like his little hairs that fell off his head and clung to his neck,

i want to remember everything before the change and now

111. when i shave my legs, i wonder if it’ll be the last time before

i work so hard to see my newest babe

and when i apply mascara, three generous coats on dark

lashes, i wonder how long before i am doing up my eyes again

once baby comes? that is, how long before i regain momentum & the balance

to pull a straight line, a carved out time

altogether, me.

i wonder each day what time line, what story we will say

when describing the moon, the errands, the metaphors

the field in which you were born

from conversation bubbling with “i love my family”,

to a small argument, perhaps, with a little speck of feeling

lonely or weightless

within the movement of infinite details and ohmy

goodness

infinite process

all moving towards birth

who really is ready and who just takes

a couple hundred deep breaths?

i eat three more mini cupcakes before bed

drink anything fizzy, wonder about each pull,

every sensation

and smile, try

to swing legs and hips to each side–

remember the change before and after this night.

remember the air, all the was done and spoken

in each room.

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