Day Bath
for my son Last night I walked him back and forth, his small head heavy against my chest, round eyes watching me in the dark, his body a sandbag in my arms. I longed for sleep but couldn't bear his crying so bore him back and forth until the sun rose and he slept. Now the doors are open, noon sunlight coming in, and I can see fuchsias opening. Now we bathe. I hold him, the soap makes our skins glide past each other. I lay him wet on my thighs, his head on my knees, his feet dancing against my chest, and I rinse him, pouring water from my cupped hand. No matter how I feel, he's the same, eyes expectant, mouth ready, with his fat legs and arms, his belly, his small solid back. Last night I wanted nothing more than to get him out of my arms. Today he fits neatly along the hollow my thighs make, and with his fragrant skin against mine I feel brash, like a sunflower. Debra Spencer