The Midwife
Oonah V. Joslin

She bounced around from place to place interacting here, instructing there in her inky blue-bottle coloured dress with its waspish white waist belt accentuating her tiny tidiness. †

The refrain of a childhood game echoed in my mind:

In and out those dusky bluebells,

†I am the master.

Her white shoes dancing, weaving, down the corridors, disappearing into side rooms and sluice rooms, staff rooms and linen rooms, she went quick and busy about her mysterious tasks.† †

Like a pinball in a machine or a garden bee reacting to stimuli I couldnít see or understand.† †

Her face wore an expression of command.† She looked up at others as she gave them orders but I could see not one of them looked down on her.† They complied. †

And when my dolly was hurt and she made me put it to bed right away and bandaged it with toilet paper. †

I sat on a blue seat near the central the desk and listened to the muffled sounds of quiet order.† Not a baby cried. † Out of sight, I heard her say, ďNo Mrs. Rea, I donít think itíll be necessary.† You canít force times.† Baby will come when itís ready.Ē †

A young nurse in pale blue approached me.

ďItís okay,Ē I said.† ďI donít want to disturb.† I can wait.† I only came to see Sister.Ē †

And with a sudden sense of who she was, I realised I hadnít said ďmy.Ē

First published: May, 2010
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