Oyster Boy Review 06  
  January 1997
» Cover

» Art
» Poetry
» Fiction
» Essays
» Reviews
» Contributors

» Oyster Boy Review
» Levee 67


Baby in an Empty Room

Terry Spohn

We are making a life here, looking at our own etch from so far above, window filled with stream of lights, milky glitter of the ice caves above the tree line behind us. Since we were children the glacier has spawned yet another new lake right where the old ones were, just the same shape, just as cold and deep.

I remember the moment before the baby began, before the tide of him reached my heart. Almost nothing made sense any more. I flew up out of my life on the black wings of sadness, up past the rooftops and the wailing mothers of all my friends. The treetops were filled with men wanting handshakes, handshakes all around, the rustle of cuff against wrist that makes a summer evening so restful, the cicadas falling to sleep at last.

We were all here, the parents, aunts, and uncles, looking down onto a baby whose dumb blue eyes let the light in. From here things curve back toward us. Leaves curl like empty hands. This is the smell of old milk and the clutter of temporary clothing no scented powder can sweeten. This is our anger and hunger and fear in the middle of the night. This is the one whose secrets will finally push us out of the house and into a dream whose only window is an old photograph.