Northwords Now Issue 39

The FREE literary magazine of the North

How I take a new mother

by Lydia Harris

You know most of it already.
I wash my hands, lay down my gifts,
open the curtain.

But walking on Boxing day
she enters my field of vision.

She is Theotokos.
She wears new gloves for different kinds of grief.
Her toes snout moss.

Her gift is a small stone vessel for crushing grapes.
She recites the blessing to be said
when going on a journey.

We meet my own father in the garden.
He carries a warm loaf, his feet are bare.
On the table he has laid two dishes.

He jumps a stream, running.
My new mother scoops a handful of water,
blows into the surface,
one bubble swallows her.