I Tell Myself the Story
She is no longer here to tell me the story of my birth
on my birthday but the birthday will come nevertheless —
quietly, inevitably — margin notes in the book of hours
that she and I no longer share. Shhh-it is
almost here again and I must tell myself the story
that is more her story than my own:
How she longed for a babe long and long, and
how unexpectedly, finally, she was expecting one.
I came into that quiet room silenced by nurses who
stood motionless, in awe of her singular work of
Pain-and-Breathing, Breathing-into-Silence. Shhh, one
whispered then. Shhh, she is having one now! Shhhe
heard their voices from the wave she was surfing
as it swelled and crashed, then contracted back —
hissing in the book of hours that waves share
with the moon and moondance mothers
like mine, who rejected the fog of sleep on the
shore for her sacred Power-over-Pain. Shhhells —
some small as babies' ears, some large as wombs —
whished and hummed to the rhythm of her breathing,
rolling along the bottom of the sea. Fish the colors
of rainbows burst like bubbles in her mind.
Whales clicked and moaned on her behalf, while
she without sounds, with eyes closed in meditation,
she with wistful longing for long and long,
breathed me onto page one of our book of hours.
MLydiaM ~ January 2012
Submitted for Poetics at dVerse Poets. This week we are asked by Sheila Moore to consider Onomato: "Write a poem using at least one onomatopoeia."
Note: The book my mother read and used as her birth coach at age 35 was: