• Vol. 10
  • Chapter 12
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Bodies Blurred Together

The baby is bending time to a dawning will.

She is nursing her on the porch, looking up into the cloudless blue. The air gently thrumming with summer insects. The heady scent of sunbaked grass. Dust between bare toes. Gory peach pits in a bowl at her bare feet.

Day and night don’t particularly matter any more. Life is lived in four hour increments at the very most. Some days, it will be ten minutes, pushing a huge glass of water down her throat and stretching her hands, wrists, fingers before lowering her down and feeling her latch immediately. The midnight sun midday darkness of breastfeeding.

Birds call to one another. Her fingers are somehow stained with blackberry juice already, and she can’t even remember having seen the blossom this year.

The baby is bending time a little differently with each passing day.

Across the field, by the neighbours’ porch, the crowd begins to gather. Men and women silently holding squirming bundles. Gently swaying. Patting tiny backs. Singing.

The scales are ready. She rises, joins the line, feels very far away from herself.

The baby will be placed in the blue cotton bag. The number on the scale will tell her how she is mothering. Whether they can begin the journey down the path into the hills and all that awaits them or whether they return to the porch across the meadow.

The line shuffles forward. She twirls a finger through the baby’s strawberry blonde hair. Bodies blurred together, they wait.