Their heads had turned down. The seeds were dropping, my seeds were dropping.
He caught me at an off time; I knew this one would be a girl. I knew she would not be right.
We were blessed with two beautiful boys. They came with full heads of blond, almost white curly hair, a year-and-a-half apart. Two healthy rambunctious, playful, happy boys, a gift from the Universe. We were blessed, but I feared, not this time.
He had become less attentive, preoccupied, the way men become when they find a lover.
I didn’t confront him. Two years of bad crops and dwindling finances were a heavy weight for both of us, particularly for him. He had trouble believing in the future, a holdover from his past.
I knew of the woman, it wouldn’t last.
I collected the sunflower seeds and saved them over the winter.
When the soil was warm, I prepared the earth, hand planting each seed, holding back half for a second planting four weeks later. The sunflower would be in full bloom when she arrived. All happy little faces, all at once, in the warm summer sunshine.
I watered and tended the garden faithfully, and I attended her and my body with the same care.
The doctors offered us an out. It was apparent she would not be well. We wished to bring her to full term and to honor the Universe's will.
He became attentive to me again. Always around now, and helpful. He no longer spent time away from the farm. He labored with the animals and chores, as I labored with the growing seed inside me.
When the time came he was with me. They placed her at my breast. It was to no avail.
We laid her poor small body in the family plot; she would be with her ancestors.
All the sunflower heads bowed down, the seeds fell, many seeds, apace with our tears.