friday faves - the three of us in one bed

From last June
five a.m.
the three of us in one bed
happy shrieks
sleepy coos
little snores
then at breakfast
hardly ate a thing
gurgling bowels and
grinding teeth
runny nose

napping in the car
glassy eyes half open
as if in some
catatonic state
this is what he
does when he is sick ...
or worse.

at home
manic giggles
staring straight at the sun
any chance he can get
stubborn legs refuse
to walk
pulling my hair
trying to tell me
something is wrong?
i just figure it’s
the drugs
wandering up the street
i call to a neighbor
he’s never done this before
i struggle to keep
him upright

daddy comes home
i’m in the back field
with calvin
walking on moss
the sun at our backs
daddy brings me a
glass of wine
he has a cold beer
it’s saturday evening
the meadow is golden
spongy under our feet
calvin rolls in the grass
seems happy enough in this
idyllic moment

calvin sits in his chair
slumped and sallow
patchy cheeks
this is the seizure
here it is, i say
i unlatch him, unbuckle him
carry his stiffening body
to the couch
like i have done
hundreds of times before
his lips turn blue
not a breath passes over them
i stroke and kiss
his sweet pale face
and hold his
little trembling hand in mine

three minutes later
it’s nearly over
he cries and i cry
a pained expression on his face
and i still have to
get his seizure meds in
he opens his mouth
to take them in
all six of them
sunk into yogurt
still crying still in pain
i cradle him
and take him upstairs
new diaper
more medicine
for his raging headache
still crying
rubbing his head
michael bundles him up
kisses his face
six-thirty p.m.
the three of us in one bed

photo by Michael Kolster

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