Before The Move

Before The Move

We are in the floorboards here
I kneel down and lay my hands
On the old barnwood planks
Our first house—big step
Baby steps, first steps, dance steps

The big picture window where
I always beat the sunrise to the sofa
Pink tumbling over a sleeping mountain
A nursing baby at my breast
Another sun another son

We carved our traditions here
The turkeys and the pumpkin pie
The Christmases the Fourths of July
Birthdays, holidays—all holy days
Our rituals rooted in the seasons

We learned this building’s every quirk
Yes yes the leaky faucet but also how
Every summer the quail emerged
From under the house
Their babies in tow

Fussing mama pecking at the dirt
Proud papa standing sentry
On a nearby rock
His feathers like a fascinator
One family’s gladiator

I tell myself it is okay to leave
That our lives are part of this place
That we are somehow in the walls
Where we fought the walls
That rose between us in our sleep

Where we loved then hated
Then loved again
Where our little ones grew into men
We were all young here once
And we are in the walls

Emily Eddins’s poetry, creative nonfiction, and short fiction have appeared in publications such as The Willow Review, The Louisville Review, Perceptions Magazine, The Toad Suck Review, Forge, Front Porch, The Cape Rock, Voices de la Luna, Edison Literary Review, and others. Her humorous essay collection, Altitude Adjustment, reached the Top Five in the Amazon Kindle Hot New Releases section for 90-minute short biographies. Her career includes time spent as a speechwriter, a journalist, and an editor. She holds a BA from Vanderbilt University, an MA from Georgetown University, and has studied creative writing at both Georgetown University and Stanford University. She lives in Northern California with her husband and children.

[image: Gambel’s Quail kids | Doris Evans]

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