Friday, April 01, 2011

NaPoWriMo #1: stomach flu

Audrey has been sick the better part of this week with stomach flu. Funny what inspires you when you're laying in bed trying to fall asleep after doing vomit patrol...

1:23 A.M.

Pulled back from the edge of sleep
by your moans in the next room
I fumble from bed
hurry to hold up a bucket
gently rub your back
while your small body rocks with heaves.
Daddy follows me, waits beside you
to dump the bucket when you’re done.

This is the second night of stomach flu.

The first night, you vomited six times
cried to your father and me
“Make it stop!”
We changed the bedding twice
finally left it with a few small stains
just so we could all get some sleep.
You waited until morning
when I tried to give you juice
to finish off the third set of sheets.

All the next day
our washing machine hummed.
Blankets and pillows kept unbalancing each load
so I would rearrange the sopping, soapy mess
close the top, cross my fingers
repeat the process two or three times
then lean against the cool steel
steadying myself against the spin cycle
gagging at the vomit smell
of a nearby basket of still-unwashed linens
that reawakened my dormant morning sickness.

This afternoon I folded basketfuls
of warm, clean laundry
felt in the patient grace of each fold
as I do now
even in gripping the cold plastic rim of this bucket
how I love you.

No comments: