Illustration by Dick Rink
“Our soul is escaped as a bird
out of the snare of the fowlers:
The snare is broken,
and we are escaped.”
It is mid summer, and I am eight months pregnant. My belly is overgrown, and tight, and my ankles and feet are swollen. He fills the tub with tepid water and gently eases me down.
“I’ve got you,” he says. “Now lie back so I can wash your hair.”
His hands are gentle as he massages the shampoo into my hair. He washes my back and my arms like one would wash a newborn. He is humming softly under his breath. At least I think it is humming, and then I realize that he is wheezing a little. I frown.
“Are you o.k.?” I ask.
“Right leg, first!” he says, ignoring my question of concern, and he lathers up and shaves my legs, which I can no longer reach. What man does that! Do you know? He stands me up and grabs the towel.
“Ta daa!!” he proclaims.
“This is not a ‘ta daa’ moment,” I tell him woefully, patting my protruding abdomen. “I’m no longer that slender girl I was when we were fresh and new.”
“Ta daa!” we would say when we stripped off our clothes and fell into bed at night—into each other’s arms. We were young and strong, and tanned from the sun—we were beautiful together, and everyone knew it. Now we are older and quieter, but those people who saw us together still know.
He folds the towel, and slips my white cotton gown over my head, and then he guides me to the bed. He puts pillows under my feet to help with the swelling. Then, sliding in beside me, he takes my hand, and in my palm he writes with his finger the words he writes every night. He puts my palm against his lips, and kisses it, sealing those words in forever.
“Our entire life is a ‘ta daa’ moment,” he says softly, “I will love it till the day I die.”
This post is linked to Jenny Matlock's Alphabe-Thursday. I am experimenting here with "flash fiction," whatever that is. I have decided to TRY to get away from all the political and religious buzz words of 2012. They are so tiring and depressing, don't you think? I don't make New Year's resolutions, so this is not one, but I hope to be more creative this year in a new place. Now if my muses will only support me in this endeavor...