Something Like Singing in the Rain.
SOMETHING LIKE SINGING IN THE RAIN
I dreamed I was giving birth. It was much easier
than I had expected. The pushing was like playing
an accordion. Or maybe it was like the last three
miles of a marathon. Or like being a custodian.
Summers in undergrad I cleaned toilets, dorm rooms
for seven-fourteen an hour. Washed the dust from plastic
fig trees in common rooms while seasonal boarders
played ping-pong or microwaved ramen for lunch,
noodles slimy as organs in a bowl of speckled fluid.
The baby came all at once, like rain in southwest
Washington, like the monsoons that fill cranberry
bogs so the men in rubber boots don't even have to use
the long black hoses set up for harvest. When that rain
comes, we pull over and turn off our music:
it is a no-radio kind of rain. Sometimes it lasts
five minutes; you think the roads might fill up
and the cars float away. You think a seagull might flash
suddenly across the glass. And then the rain stops.
All along the highway, cars have their lights on; you can look
and see rows and rows just sitting as if it's the end of the world.
And then, one by one, they all get back into their lanes,
turn on their radios. The DJs don't even know. They're
miles away in Seattle or Portland, where people think
it rains like that but it doesn't. It only rains like that
where cars sometimes get radio and sometimes not.
The baby wasn't crying. It was humming.