Not a newborn's cry, the nurse says, more cracked, strained. I hold no way you're supposed to sound, your eyes roll loosely like dice fists pummel air in arcane circles tubes entwine you, changeling in a bassinet— clearly something is wrong. Just take him home and love him, she chirps as she closes our door. I have no idea how to soothe you, nor do I feel like your mother. I cry when I'm not supposed to. I want to go back in time to meet my real baby born into candlelit bathwater. Nothing—only a song is within reach. I hum "Edelweiss," but you do not look happy to meet me, you're shriveled and might not grow. My voice is broken too, but I stroke you, keep singing. One cold night pulling into our driveway, the stars catch me by surprise. Just how many, each so far away, each being a star. I wrest you from your car seat, white puffy snowsuit, you belong in space so I hold you up, my arms outstretched like an offering: please, fill him with your emptiness, your mystery. He matches you, he needs you. Help me keep him glowing here on Earth.
4 replies on “For Leo”
Stunning. Honest. From despair to starlit hope.
Your words touch me remembering 53 years back bringing home my newborn who did not resemble “normal“.
Where to put my longing for her not to suffer and for myself to give comfort without fear.
Over my lifetime I have been taught to emptiness, to hope without attachment, to love without fear, to open to not knowing and mystery, giving space for needs, longing and trust in what is to come.
Beautiful! Thank you.
Oh, this is lovely.
It is such a pleasure to witness your words radiating outward into the world!
I love this so much, Jess!