Strong Shoes ~ Black Bird Excerpt

by - November 4, 2015

~unedited excerpt from among today's words~

Charles Wolfe stood beside the bed, gazing down at his wife and their newborn son, the warm weight of a million beautiful emotions swirling through him at the incredible wonder of having witnessed his son’s first precious moments.

“He’s a handsome wee thing, isn’t he, love?” he said, lifting his hand from Gertie’s shoulder and tousling the baby’s mane of unnaturally thick hair. “Hair like the night, he has.”

Sun streamed through the window, light catching in the damp tresses, revealing ripples of blue peeking out from the black. “Like a raven’s feathers, it is. Like a wee black bird.” He sighed at the marvel of it all.

“May I hold him, love?” he asked before plucking the little bundle from Gertie’s arms, holding him tight against his chest as he wandered over to the window through which the fresh salty air tickled their skin and ruffled that black, black hair with wind carried from the ocean beyond the breakers below. Charles dipped his head to breathe in the scent of his son's scalp.

“Give him a blessing, darling,” Gertie said to him from the bed. “Start him off right, love.”

Charles looked up to the sky, searching for the right words from all the Irish traditions he knew. He gazed down at the baby again, pulling back the blanket to bare his little feet, so white and weak—toes stretching towards the sea. “If ever God sends you down a stony path, our dear little Raven, may He give you strong shoes.”

Gertie laughed softly. “That is your blessing?” she teased, holding out her arms, already itching to be filled again by her son.

“It is,” Charles said, lowering the baby into her waiting hands.

Gertie’s smile was soft. “So be it,” she said and she lifted a little foot to her lips and gently kissed each toe. “Strong shoes, little Charlie ‘Raven’, strong shoes.”

You May Also Like


I love comments and I appreciate, consider and read each one. I welcome your thoughts, whether you're in agreement or not; however, this website is a happy place and I will remove any comment that I believe to be inappropriate, malicious or spam like.

Thanks for visiting!

© Alanna Rusnak