Category Archives: Nancilynn Saylor

November 24 – Barbara Jeanne

by Nancilynn Saylor

I am the second child,
the second daughter
my older sister who longed
for me announced
to our mother
after only two weeks
You can take her back now!

My older sister told me
I was adopted, “Look around!
No one looks like you.”
I was sure I’d come from
another planet, dropped into
their Catholic midst by Aliens
(who surely would return for me some day!)

My older sister was my first
friend, sometimes we
tormented as only sisters do.
I remember snuggling under the covers
on cold Alaskan nights watching
the lavender and blue-green
Borealis race across the midnight skies.
I remember her strong arms snatching me
by my flannel shirt
from the icy Russian River
where I’d toppled-likely looking
for the glint of gold in the smooth rocks
of the swift moving shallows.

My older sister taught me
to sing harmony-endless summer
days rewinding the Everly Brothers
until our voices sounded perfect.
My older sister taught me
how to do the splits
when my short legs refused
to open. She stood behind me
pushing on my shoulders
forcing me to the ground, then
laughing when I could not get up.

My older sister explained sex,
filling in the parts the nuns left out
adding more than I needed to know.
She found boyfriends for me:
“she has a great sense of humor.”
She was beautiful, I was funny-
I came from aliens after all

Nancilynn 2014

Nancilynn lives and works and writes from Austin, Texas, where she gardens, spends time with Romeo, her son, 7 grandchildren and her 9 great grands. She works as a full time Patient Advocate at a Level 1 Trauma Center.

June 30 – Born On a Summer Wind

by Nancilynn Saylor

My first child was born on the last day of June in 1968. If not for my excitement, he may not have arrived until well into July. I remembered my paternal Aunts and my Mother and Granny telling stories about childbearing, hearing “Castor oil would coax a reluctant baby from the womb.”

It was hot that summer, in Abilene, Texas. Actually saying it was hot does grave injustice to the weather that June. Temperatures were in excess of 100 for weeks on end. Hot and dry just as I was in the full bloom of my pregnancy. Many things gnawed at my sanity as I lumbered up and down the sidewalks stained with droppings from the canopy of Mulberry trees. I could not get cool or comfortable; for distraction I was reading Rosemary’s baby.

I purchased Castor oil; if there were instructions given in the conversation overheard long years before, I’d forgotten them. Mixed half and half with Welch’s grape juice, I swallowed it. I busied myself in the baby’s room waiting for”the potion” to do its magic. Awakening the next morning with no baby, I immediately drank the other half.

Another hot day of walking miles down the purple stained sidewalks. My feet were swollen beyond description, and my neighbor’s everyday lunch of liver and onions had landed unpleasantly on my last nerve. The frown on my face was getting comfortable there when at last-a cramp (or maybe not a cramp followed by what I knew then had to be, contractions. “Glory be!” There really was going to be a baby!

Dusk dimmed the long summer afternoon. I walked. About midnight, I woke the lucky father; we got word it was “time.” I thought 10 minutes apart meant imminent birth.Alas, this was not the end but the beginning. The excitement I felt when I arrived melted as the minutes slowly passed followed by hours that passed as slowly. I have a sense that the frown came back and stayed throughout the day.

They discovered the baby was breach; they flipped him and he flipped back…multiple times. I remember losing my charm with the nurse when she reported the Dad was asleep in the waiting room. I meanwhile was groaning and imagining I had slipped into Rosemary’s Baby as a secondary story-line.

After 12 hours the Dr. decided to break my water to “hurry things along.” The air-conditioner in the hospital also decided to break;it was 118 degrees outside. The day was melting slowly; in early evening they announced it was time. I let everyone within earshot know it had been time long before that!

One last flip of the boy-who-wanted-to-be-breach and he was here! Many years later he told me he was not ready to face this world.He really loved the heat of summer; his favorite time of year.

He arrived here on a smoldering hot day in June. Oddly, he left the world on almost the same kind of day, 36 Junes later.

Nancilynn resides in Austin,Texas with her Romeo and two needy dogs! After taking Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way, a gift to her after the death of her oldest child, she joined Story Circle. She writes in E Circles 4, 5 and 6.