pablo dillinger, on registering a birth
A knife. A fork. And the forceps not so small, nothing remotely tidy, or encircling in pentameter. Two feet and a long syllable; drawn out, redly yawning. The cerci of an earwig. This is not what immediately occurred to me, or even after the fact. The blood still drying on my hams. The wailing. And the young doctor\’s face: contorted with the exertion required to change a tire. A 4×4. Something heavy hurtling. I did not think to thank her until much later, back in the corridor between soda machine and bins. Fearing the worst and hindsight. A knife. A fork. Not to spell apple, but application. Raw, dispassionate intervening force. I do not remember if I did – thank her – at this late stage. Not formally. A smile. A nod. That is properly the size of it; wan, if not quite hostile. The fleeting discomfit of a husband discharged. Discarding gown and overshoes in sanitary fashion. Dishevelled. Irritable. And yet. I threw my arms around the midwife while they weighed my son, thankfully she did not think to escape. Imagine the effrontery. The potential for sheer awkwardness; \”you crazy fool !\” my wife chiding, from the stirrups. A knife. A fork. And the forceps not so small, but my son a rosy bundle, scalded and petulant; mewling.
illustration from Picasso\’s \”pichet tête\” (1953); partial glaze on white ceramic.