Honourable mention in the 6th Annual Geist Literal Literary Postcard Story Contest.
I was born in late May under a light blue, vitreous sky. A frosted lampshade hung from the ceiling, a few insect carcasses dotted the glass. A long shadow from the pull-chain extended like a wand across the ceiling. Far off, a sound of ravines rushing and spring melt.
The birth was magic. A doves’ roost on the windowsill, flight drowned out all sounds of pain. The event was bloodless. Shock let from my mother through her thin nightgown, through her two-inch collar; through her cuffs folded and sewn in place. Composure seeped from her pearl buttons. Her hair had just been set. Her white teeth bit down. She said, “Ah.”
Directly afterward, a man was photographed at her bedside. Even in black and white, his eyes shone unmistakably aquamarine. A white examination coat fit snugly across his shoulders and he lay with one leg on the bed. Fresh from hell, my mother smiled up from her grey pillow. No trace left of the birth or me. A pair of secateurs on the nightstand tray. A freesia or two visible at the outer edge of the frame. Juice, pills and a glass of water.