There are no sirens anymore and no planes anymore. The explosions have stopped and I sit and I wait. “She will come back,” says grandma. “Just you wait and see.” I smile and I nod and I wait. “She’s a smart dog,” says my grandma. “She’ll find her way back.” I nod and I watch the smoke. And I wait until darkness. And I wait the next day. And I wait until night. The house smells of onions and smoke. A hand on my shoulder. “Come to dinner,” says grandma. “And don’t be sad. She’s with your mommy now.”
On my sixteenth birthday, just after I had blown out the candles on a fairy cake, my mother told me that I was born dead.
“I’m so happy that you made it,” she said.
I pulled the fork out of my mouth.
“Oh,” she said. “I guess we never told you. If not for aunt Kirah you wouldn’t even have made it through your first day.”
Aunt Kirah. Nurse Kirah.
My mother’s contractions started in her lunch break, two months early. She was at the hospital twenty minutes later and another hour after that she pushed my head out of her body.
Like most babies, I didn’t breathe. The doctor gave me a light slap, like for all babies. Another light slap, like for some babies. Then a stronger slap. Continue reading