Song from a Snowdrift

photo by Josh Scholten

Your rolling and stretching grew quieter that stormy winter night, but no labor came.
A week overdue, you clung to amnion and womb, not ready.
The wind blew wicked and snow flew sideways, landing in piling drifts.
The roads impassable, nearly impossible to traverse.

Your dad and I tried, worried about being stranded at home.
Our little car got stuck in a snowpile,  our tires spinning, whining against the snow.
A neighbor’s bulldozer dug us out to freedom.
You floated silent and still, knowing your time was not yet.

Creeping slowly through the dark night blizzard,
we arrived to the warm glow of the hospital.
You slept.
I, not at all.

Morning sun glistened off sculptured snow outside our window,
Your heart had mysteriously slowed in the night.
You were jostled, turned, oxygenated, but nothing changed.
You beat even more slowly.

The nurses’ eyes told me we had trouble. The doctor, grim faced, announced
delivery must happen quickly, taking you now, hoping we were not too late.
I was rolled, numbed, stunned, clasping your father’s hand, closing my eyes,
not wanting to see the bustle around me, not wanting to hear the shouted orders,
the tension in the voices, the quiet at the moment of opening when it was unknown what would be found.

And then you cried. A hearty healthy husky cry.
Perturbed and disturbed from the warmth of womb,
to the cold shock of a bright lit operating room,
your first vocal solo brought applause
from the surrounding audience who admired your pink skin,
your shock of damp red hair, your blue eyes squeezed tight,
then blinking open, wondrous.

You were brought wrapped for me to see and touch
before being whisked away,
your father trailing behind the parade to the nursery.
I closed my eyes, swirling in a brain blizzard of what-ifs.

If no storm had come, you would have fallen asleep forever within my womb,
no longer nurtured by an aging placenta,
cut off from what you needed to stay alive.
There would have been only our soft weeping,
knowing what could have been if we had only known,
if we could have been sent a sign to go for help.

Saved by a storm, dug from a drift:
I celebrate now each time I hear your voice singing.

One thought on “Song from a Snowdrift

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