The Birth of Doris Laurayne Wilson, August 30, 1918


While three of my uncles 
served with the 88th in France,
I was born on their popcorn farm
in Baker Township
midst the hills of Guthrie County
the scorching, fly-pestering
August of 1918, with rumors 
of influenza all around.

The ether-soaked cloth
was at the ready
for my mother
to ease the bearing down,
Grandmother's offering
when our babies were born.

Doc Thomas wondered 
how my mother knew
I'd be a girl, but
after Delbert and Donald,
maybe our family needed one.

"Can we take her for a ride
in our wagon?" they begged,
bumping against the birthing bed.

Grandmother, still laughing,
shooed them outside
with bread and jam.

8 comments

    • Thank you for your note. That grandmother was with her through all 8 births (10 children, 2 were sets of twins)! She was also the comforting presence of a great grandmother until I was a freshman in college!

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