Labor Pains

January 10, 2009

The most unsettling flight of fancy:
A man returns home from work,
Throws his coat across the living room.
He wonders where everyone’s at
As he kicks off his shoes.
His wife, well into her third trimester,
Is trying to teach their son how to read
(A difficult task in the best situations).
The man strides along and picks up
His son, nuzzles his face into the boy’s
Curly brown hair and hugs him tight.
No words are exchanged between
The man and his wife, all it takes
Is a look and a kiss.
A happy family, idyllic as
The wheat fields in summer.
The night moves on, the boy takes
His bath and is tucked into bed, and
An exhausted couple take a
Well-deserved break on the couch.
His arm around his beautiful wife,
His hand resting on her pouting belly.
“I love you,” he whispers in her ear.
Like a flash flood she jumps up,
“Oh Jesus, it’s time! It’s time!”
It was a well-rehearsed plan.
Grab shoes and coats, wake the boy.
Flying down the yellow lines of
The freeway to the hospital,
He can tell something’s wrong.
The nurses won’t look him in the eye,
The doctor takes the man aside,
“There’s been a complication.”
Four words no man wants to hear.
Proceed with the birth, she dies.
Wait any longer, the baby dies.
A decision must be made.
Thank god I woke up.