Green Hills Literary Lantern

The New Year

 

  

It is New Year’s Day and a heavy wet snow has fallen that coats the trees. Last night, the fat white snowflakes drifted down in the darkness and changed the earth and the world seemed full of promise. But today is the day of hangovers and diets and New Year’s resolutions. It usually is a sad day for me, signaling the end of things, the end of the fun of the holiday and friends and family getting together, signaling moving forward now, alone, through the rest of the winter.

            But today I am 30 weeks pregnant. In the language of my friends who have never been pregnant and men who have never been close to a pregnant women and so cannot possibly understand pregnant women except what they see from the outside of them—a puffy face and swollen hands and body like a full moon intruding upon everyone in the room—I am 7 months pregnant.

            We are one—the baby and me. The baby kicks me when he is happy, and when I am hungry and when I am happy and when I eat something that tastes good and makes my heart glad. The baby makes his preferences known. He doesn’t like me to bend over—even to make the bed—and he protests by kicking. And he doesn’t like our big black cat to sit on my lap and rest his head against my belly, the roof of his house. He kicks our big black cat in the head until, sleepy and annoyed, the cat leaves for a quieter spot on the rug, and turns his back on me in disapproval. And during the night, when I roll over, the baby floats down to the bottom. I think it must be dark in there and warm and loud, and I feel his small weight sinking within me and the stroking of his hands as he settles in his new spot that I have chosen for him at the bottom of my womb. In the dark, I run my hands across my itchy belly, and I am surprised to feel that, just on the other side of that thin wall, my baby is following my hands with his, and we meet, for that brief moment, holding hands, me on the outside, him on the inside. We are one—the baby and me. And now I am never alone, and never lonely.

            Last night as we were coming home and the snow was falling on the silent, glittering white world, we saw a rabbit. He was a very large rabbit with a beautiful thick brown coat. He was glossy and warm in the snow. And Cor and I were warm like the rabbit. Cor did not even wear his coat and the snow fell on his black suit jacket on his broad shoulders, and I was reminded of the white blossoms in the tulip trees during our wedding in May—so long ago. We stop on the walk to our back door and look at the rabbit. And he looks at us. He is magnificent with his glossy, thick brown coat—so full of life. And he is not afraid. Fat and large, he is the king of rabbits. Not even the neighborhood cats would dare to take him on.

            The snow falls and coats our yard, and Cor and I and the rabbit and the baby inside me wait in a still, pure crystal whiteness. And there are just the four of us in the dark.

 

Emily Wiser’s fiction and non-fiction have been published in The MacGuffin, The St. Ann’s Review, Other Voices, and JADE Magazine. She is also a silversmith and is working on her Ph.D. in Literature at Loyola University. She’s currently combining silversmithing and creative writing by creating engraved books of short stories from copper and silver in the tradition of William Blake.