Heart (7)

Do you think that is what a baby hears inside the womb? I asked him at breakfast. I was washing up and thinking about the watery, echoey¬†sounds my pumping heart had made on the machine yesterday at the hospital. It will be a little noisy, the radiographer warned me as¬† I tried to get comfortable on the bed, do you want me to turn the sound off. No, I said. I lay there on my aching hip and listened. It was like an underwater sound, globby and far away. Is that mine? I wanted to ask, feeling a little detached and otherworldly. We get so used to seeing and knowing our bodies from the inside out. It was amazing. We forget the workings that go on day in day out just to keep us alive. I asked him what he saw from his seat behind her. He couldn’t describe it other that that it was like an ultrasound image, lots of illegible dark shadows. He is always present with me in these investigations. I don’t need him there but I like him to be there. He bears witness to so many things in my life, why not these? I know you feel a fraud, he said as we walked back home, but don’t, it’s important to rule it out.

The air was balmy and gentle as I walked. The sky a Titian blue under the clouds. Just white fluffy ones, nothing ominous. He read a piece from the paper that claimed that we are to have hot weather way into mid September. Today he has gone out in shorts. After lunch we sat on the bank surrounding the cricket pitch and watched the groundsmen mowing the grass, one cutting and the other one following behind collecting it. Both were on mini tractors. A woman was eating her lunch on a bench beneath us. A seagull stood just ahead of her playing it cool and pretending he wasn’t waiting for scraps.

Last night I was sure that I heard the peep, peeping of the young robin we’d see earlier, beneath my bedroom window. May it survive the Kray Twins.

By Ellen Bell

Artist and writer currently living in Aberystwyth.