and suddenly I’m all poetry.
It’s the pain and the wondering,
the gratitude that we’ve made it this far,
the readiness and the fear,
the expecting and unknowing.
It’s the thought that I won’t feel this again –
the growing life inside, daily miracle within,
hourly marvel and mystery.
At bedtime, I squeeze myself into a maternity t-shirt
that fit perfectly last fall – a short lifetime ago.
Gray with white horizontal stripes that appear to grimace
stretched unevenly over my ample, big-baby-boy abdomen,
and the fabric stops short of actually covering my belly.
I wear it anyway, of course.
Because I’m deeply happy, I’m deeply thankful, and I’m tired.
Too tired to dig for a different shirt in the dresser drawer,
and anyway, none of them fit anymore.
Two more weeks.
Two more weeks.
It’s the tenderness of friends and strangers,
“When are you due?”
“Can I help you lift that?”
“Here’s a chair for you, little mama.”
“Keep growing that baby!”
And even, “Oh, you’re with child!”
It’s the excitement and pride of my older children,
sweet, solemn faces, little hands on my tummy.
Earnest announcements to anyone who will hear:
“Excuse me, can I tell you something? My mama is ‘pregnick’!”
And, “Me gonna have a baby bwuthah.”
Yes, someone is in there;
This last time.
These last weeks of pregnancy,
humbling and holy,
hosting within my body
the creation of life;
the handiwork of God.
I bow my head.
My gaze falls on my belly,
undulating as the baby moves,
It’s the sudden breathlessness
and flushing cheeks,
the perfectly-timed kicks and flutters,
and the choosing of a name.
Envisioning the little one
who is already so much here and alive,
but not yet born.
It’s the tightening of my middle,
reminding me to get ready, to be ready.
March 8, 2018