Kim Chinquee

Rattles Rattles

When I finally woke up, the nurse handed me my baby. “He’s pretty,” she said, plopping him. His eyes looked slanted.   The sun shone in. I squinted. I tried to remember the last thing I remembered. A dance in the OR, people scrambling all around me. A nurse with horns. A doctor with a scalpel, another looking toothless. Their faces, all veiny. My husband, where was he, with a cherry.   My baby cried, his voice squeaky. I hurt from where they took him. Shh, I said.   Shh. I held him. I was cold. He got quiet, closed his eyes and I asked the nurse where was my husband.   She wore scrubs with an array of colored rattles. Yellow glasses. Something smelled like apples.   She said, Your baby’s probably hungry. I tried to move my arms, to give him, but a sharp pain shot through me. Ahh! I said. Please, I said to the nurse. Can you?   She took him, shushing him, bouncing him out to the hallway.

Apr 6, 2011 / Books & the Arts / Kim Chinquee