When I left the hospital ten years ago with my newborn daughter, June had arrived while I spent those days in the birthing center. Every day that May, it had rained, cold rain and humid sticky rain, all day rain and brief passing showers. Every variety of Vermont rain had stormed that month: a rainy season to cap a pregnancy that, by its end, I felt near to drowning with its effort. Walking up the stairs, I had to linger on the landing and gasp for breath. Sleeping, I startled wake, choking for air.
But when we left, we drove past black-soil farm fields freshly plowed. In regular furrows, early corn had sprouted during those few days of my confinement. The pregnancy over, my healthy and whole infant in my arms, I was jubilant, and the earth herself appeared rapturous. That summer proved especially dry and hot.
On this Memorial Day, May 30th, a day of sadness beyond sadness, here’s a David Budbill poem from Happy Life:
Hard rain all night
morning rags of mist