The night my life began was not the night I was born.
I had fallen asleep in the grip of that pox which almost all children catch; my face swollen and hot, finding no relief in cool sheets or in the hand and voice of my father. He had stayed long after the doctor came and went , stayed to repeat reassuring things and to draw my fingers away from my body when I might have scratched. The frustration of my hands above the sheets, while my skin writhed beneath, slowly exhausted me. I wept and thrashed my legs and closed my eyes.
That sleep was heavy and troubling, but seamless was my move from oblivion to sitting up against my pillows, and looking into the courtyard beyond my bedroom.
I saw the small flashes of silver in the moonlight, quick and perfect as fish in a night sea, a waking dream that drew me from my bed. Continue reading “Orison”