Creative Writing Ink January Competition Winner

A winter baby

Pauline Murphy

Atom by atom,
cell by cell, slowly, slowly,
you built yourself.

In October, I brought you home
to a place beside the ocean;
that’s all I know.

I knew you
As little as I do
the science of weather.

Rain and high winds
moved in
from the Atlantic.

They battered our windows
day and night, and days
were more night than day anyway.

I cradled you near,
felt the heat of your head
on my chest,

soothed protest
as best I could,
sang of dappled horses,

while the ocean rode in
with the winds
from where storms begin.

All knew
was how you
and I had to make it past winter

and into spring.
I longed for news
of daffodils.

Slowly, slowly,
we pushed through the dark,
and emerged whole and bright.

That’s how it is, Elizabeth.
That’s how it always is.