Happy Wednesday! Here is a brief sketch about seeing your own child for the very first time. It was inspired by this poetic passage from the Poetry Foundation’s “Poem of the Day” on Jan. 23, 2017:
“The fist clenched around my heart/loosens a little, and I gasp/brightness; but it tightens/again. When have I ever not loved/the pain of love? . . .” – Derek Wolcott, “The Fist”
The fist around my heart tightens a little in the first glimpse of her pale birth-reddened face. This little child, this infant I grew from a tiny seed in my ovary deposited at my own birth, joined with an equally tiny tadpole-like seed made perhaps the morning of conception or the day before, this little child has suddenly appeared, and as she lies in my arms I feel the fist of love clench around my heart. It has not been this way since the first time my body gave birth to another tiny being. A son who, as it turns out, would not survive. But then, that first time, I did not yet know what it means, this feeling in my chest, the fist of love around the heart. I did not yet recognize the unique clench of love it makes. And to this day the daughter of my heart is still evident in the fist of love, clenched tightly enough to change a life forever.