Academic journal article Hecate


Academic journal article Hecate


Article excerpt

His soft form lay in my arms, comfortably. My body, heavy-weary, spread into the yielding chair. The night-shift was nearly over, and sleep hard to fight. I closed my eyes. The sounds of babies crying and women chatting drifted away.

Snap open eyes. Head, side to side. Fighting sleep. His round newborn eyes stared up at me. His mouth sucking the rubber teat with slow pleasure. I looked at his face, into the moist blackness of his eyes, and smiled. His eyelids, almost transparently pink, began to close. Again I leaned lack into the chair, and it begins to absorb my back, my legs . . . voices beside me. . . "My husband is so pleased we're coming home today . . . can't wait to show off our baby."

I open my eyes and look at her. She stands amidst the cots, talking to another mother. Her dressing-gown catches the light in ripples as she bends forward to pick up her baby.

Taking the baby home. Stepping through the front door holding a neat cocoon of blankets. The drilling shawl, the little face wreathed in wool. Bringing the baby home, finally and really yours. I remember the anticipation of home-coming.

I remember the home-coming. I fumbled with the little blue cardigan as I tried to feed his unco-operative arm through the sleeve. I saw the sleeves were too long, and started to roll them back.

"Come on! I'll get a parking ticket!" he said. A nurse escorted us to the car, and laid my baby in the waiting bassinette, while he stowed my bag into the boot.

My baby. I looked back at him as my husband drove. He looked startled, staring, eyes watching the street lights that flashed on his face, on-off, dark-light.

"His first street lights, "I marvelled.

My husband laughed. He drove past the turn-off to our street. "Hey, I'm the one who's been out of circulation!"

He glanced at the rear-view mirror, and turned the wheel sharply in a U-turn. Cars streamed past as we waited at the intersection. He rubbed his hair irritably. Hardly cheery. I looked away and watched the flow of piercing headlights.

Home finally. He opened the back door, and stepped back to let me pass. Gregory, our house-mate, was standing at the stove stirring something in the red and white spotted saucepan. …

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