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A First Bath
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I set the chipped jug beside the basin, tilting until its contents flow. Some drops fall over the edge: the bowl fills half-full.

“Careful, Boromir. Not too much.”
I move the jug away, pick up the towel from the stand.

“Test it. Hot or cold, my son?”
With a finger, I check. “Warm, Mother.”

“Good. You have the towel?”
“Yes, I’m ready.”

She places her babe in the shallow water, moving a cloth over face, arms, legs with infinite care. Clean, she lifts him, dripping, and nods for Boromir to begin.

“Gentle, now, Boromir. You must be gentle.”
“Yes, Mother.”


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