Our Birthday

Love waited to deliver,
Had been waiting more than 20 years
To give birth to the potential she felt steadily, beautifully, growing inside her.

Contractions had been getting stronger, more frequent;
Even back then, past the point of false alarms and flutters and fantasies:
Way past the point of no return.
Love’s labour had emphatically begun
A fact which wouldn’t have required a midwife’s meditation
So much as the merest look from lovers
Who would instantly have recognised their own reflection.

But children can be awkward in the womb….
We were.

Somehow, somewhy, we weren’t ready,
Or were ready but didn’t realise we were.
Love lost that life-launching rhythm
And the tempo slowed;
And the music faded;
But the tender bassline remained,
A deep, dependable underscore,
An entrée to an inevitable encore
Which would slowly seduce
Fingers onto fretboards and keys
Making fresh melody and harmony
Bringing into being Love’s long-overdue creative crescendo.

Contractions commenced with a phone call in May,
Took-off with tender texts,
Intensified in email,
Lengthened with letters written in an o-so-familiar hand.
Love’s hips splayed at our summer sharing.
Waters broke with words more potent than time or tide.
Head crowned to Cotswold confessions and communions.

Love delivered us upon her Bledington bed
And holds us to her breast as none before.

by Tony Jolley

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