sweet days of baby Rose….

ripplespeak
Saint Patrick’s Day 1979
Daffodils bloomed,
breezes turned balmy
and I pulled off my shoes,
letting my swollen feet tramp across the warming earth.
I was pregnant with my first baby….due today.
For weeks I had ached for time to stop,
squeezing myself shut to the coming contractions
and separation.
The word “relinquish” hung heavy on my heart.
But today the weather had quickly turned.
Spring rushed in like living oxygen,
lifting fresh color from the tired brown.
I felt, with relief, that everything had somehow changed,
this fresh palate erased all of the before.
Spring had come with it’s own dreamy wildness
and waves to ride far beyond the looming loss.
I spent the day sunsoaking
and listening to the trees whisper high above me,
gently rocking the tire swing I’d played in not so long ago.
I was newly seventeen,
an unwed mother
with an unwanted chore hanging over my head:
to give my baby to someone who deserved her.
Soon she would come apart from me.
Someone would bring me papers to sign
with official words like “relinquish” and “unfit”.
They would help me say that I release this baby
and instead
choose a good life for my child.
She would be gone before the leaves flushed out.
Their buds were fat and ready to pop….like me.
I went quiet with the knowing.
But this day was vivid lovely and it got inside me.
As the sun began to dip low,  a painful storm began inside me.
I felt an urgency to press back against a pushing forward.
The rolling tightness became swallowed panic as grownup voices
began herding me into the night
and toward the hospital.
I couldn’t do this….couldn’t have this baby.
It was bedtime and I wanted to crawl under the covers
and cradle the life inside me one more time.
My body betrayed me,
forcing me into a cold sterile world of tight lips and disapproving eyes.As my frightened parents gathered my things,
I lunged back inside for just one last moment alone
with the tiny life that had shaken my own
with her gentle worth.
I lowered my heavy frame onto my bed and tried to sing
one last lullaby.
It wouldn’t come.
Only tears,
a fragile goodbye.

I followed strong contractions back down the stairs
and into the night.
That was thirty two years ago.

Time has not erased the bright beauty of those days
with baby Rose.
I returned home with empty arms
and never saw her again.
But I remember her essence,
like a fragrance,
and am frequently swept into it’s melody
as it drifts across my heartstrings.
I recognize her song.

This is the thirty second celebration of the wonder of her life.
Today I let myself  remember those days
before she was transplanted into the garden
where she grew and thrived,
those shimmery days when we were just us,
when she was still mine.

(thank you for reading along and letting me share this part of my heart with you)

helen