Waiting

For we know that all creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. – Romans 8:22

My wife has been in labor for 20 hours
but the boy’s not ready for his revealing

What’s he waiting for?

I shuffle back and forth, from my wife’s bedside
to the waiting room, where both mothers
are wondering if they should stay put
or run some quick errands, they ask,
What time does the doctor say?
I say, Anytime.

A n y     t i m e  s t r e t c h i n g  i n f i n i t e l y.

Earthquakes of the womb
are getting longer and frequent.

She refuses epidural and Demerol;
going to go the old fashioned way,
hicks breathing.

How can counting counter pain?

hee-hee-whoo-whoo
hee-hee-whoo-whoo

In the waiting room, our mothers are watching
reruns of “Friends.”

A child is going to rearrange your friends,
a father of two told us
when we told him we are expecting,
every car a death machine,
each window a death trap.
The world is a threatening place
when you have a fragile being.

Isn’t there any bright side?
I asked, as I sipped some wine for my wife.

Well, you get new eyes, see the world
as if for the first time with your child,
discover the origami folds of roses,
delight in the moving puppet clouds
and their theatrics on the blue stage,
and you can dance silly and no one will think you silly.

Finally,
on the 24th hour, my son comes,
all glutinous, bloody and alive,
and the nurse washes off the waters of birth,
swaddles then gently lays this new creation,
on the bend of my wife’s arm,
and she brings his hungering lips
to her bosom welling with honey milk.

None of us remember the 24 hours of waiting
as the newborn shows us what wind looks like
in his small body filling with life.

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