Snapshots

Birth

Basch was the baby for two whole minutes. He came into the world furious, screaming at the loss of his home in his mother's womb. His tiny hands were in fists, small, wrinkled body shaking with rage, covered in blood. His eyes were squeezed shut, mouth opened wide. He was swaddled in a soft green quilt sewn with scraps by a sister nine years older. She passed him to their mother, who smiled at him and welcomed him into her sweaty arms. He fell silent, baby blue eyes cracking open and meeting hers for a scanty moment. Mother was of a worn woman. She'd been a farmer all her life and it showed. Tanned skin marred by deep creases and the searing kiss of the sun and hard labor. Crow's feet around pretty green eyes. Pretty green eyes like fields of mint-grass in the spring. Her lips quirked into a brief smile. "My pretty, pretty son," she cooed, voice raspy because of her screams. She touched him, calloused skin to baby skin. Then her body convulsed. She screamed again, and he screamed with her. He kept crying long after his mother accepted his twin brother into her loving arms.