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The Wellspring

The Wellspring

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Add This - The Wellspring

Written by Sharon OldsAuthor Alerts:  Random House will alert you to new works by Sharon Olds

  • Format: eBook, 112 pages
  • Publisher: Knopf
  • On Sale: December 5, 2012
  • Price: $13.99
  • ISBN: 978-0-307-56108-4 (0-307-56108-9)
Also available as a trade paperback.
EXCERPT

Bathing the New Born

I love with an almost fearful love
to remember the first baths I gave him--
our second child, our first son--
I laid the little torso along
my left forearm, nape of the neck
in the crook of my elbow, hips nearly as
small as a least tern's hips
against my wrist, thigh held loosely
in the loop of thumb and forefinger,
the sign that means exactly right. I'd soap him,
the long, violet, cold feet,
the scrotum wrinkled as a waved whelk shell
so new it was flexible yet, the chest,
the hands, the clavicles, the throat, the gummy
furze of the scalp. When I got him too soapy he'd
slide in my grip like an armful of buttered
noodles, but I'd hold him not too tight,
I felt that I was good for him,
I'd tell him about his wonderful body
and the wonderful soap, and he'd look up at me,
one week old, his eyes still wide
and apprehensive. I love that time
when you croon and croon to them, you can see
the calm slowly entering them, you can
sense it in your clasping hand,
the little spine relaxing against
the muscle of your forearm, you feel the fear
leaving their bodies, he lay in the blue
oval plastic baby tub and
looked at me in wonder and began to
move his silky limbs at will in the water.


From the Trade Paperback edition.

Excerpted from The Wellspring by Sharon Olds Copyright © 1996 by Sharon Olds. Excerpted by permission of Knopf, a division of Random House LLC. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.