Bedroom: words in brief

My children were both born in the same bed they were conceived in: an old brass double with a high headboard that came with their father into our marriage. The bedroom was the same too, west-facing, with the bulky radiator against the window and the large wide maple outside. The first time, the bed held me up as I squatted at its foot, naked, bearing down hard as I clutched the heavy post. Perhaps I held back, until the threat of moving to the hospital loomed, a shock to my insistent planting in this place only. I clenched my eyes then, traveled deep down into the pain and through it, emerging new with my child on the other side. The second time, my body began to push before the midwives arrived, and the baby slipped out like a fish, capped in his thin slick caul. His brother woke an hour later, as the commotion waned. I can see him standing beside the bed, backed up against the radiator: small, stunned, wide-eyed.

From 100 Words: The Beauty of Brevity. Word prompt: bedroom. From one of the final days. My 100 days of writing prompts and daily witnessing and being witnessed are over, for now. How I miss them already!

Arrival: words in brief

How do we wait for the new year’s arrival?
Fire burning day and night,
pots littering the top of the wood stove,
turning up their noses
at the full kitchen upstairs.
I once burned old letters here
as the year turned,
blazing through endings;
now the purple-gold glow
is our small share of the sun’s
wild energies captured
to keep our winter bones warm.
Polar temperatures, I’m learning,
have their own variations:
today is bright and windless.
I pad in winter moccasins and snowshoes
through the soft snow,
like a child in the warmest slippers;
no colder than the mice
who leave their small trails
scattered under the cedars,
tunnel down underneath it all,
and survive.
Inside there is tea and soup,
and I take it in slowly.
The contours of my heart are rounded,
both spacious and full, its rhythms
keeping pace with my life.
I hold the hot soup of this moment
in my cold hands, note its arrivals and leavings,
the newborn child of its entrance,
the small swift bird of it lifting its wings
to take off.

From 100 Words: The Beauty of Brevity. Word prompt: arrival. Day 97, New Year’s Eve.