The lights were bright on my face when they held you up above the stark, white sheet. So much bustling and moving around the room. Shiny instruments of pain and remedy all around. Masked faces-pulling, snipping, sewing me tight.
My body, but another body down below. That fat girl in the diaper wasn’t me. Couldn’t be me…And then, they handed you to me and said you were mine. My tiny egg grown to bursting. A lump of pink flesh now: eyes, nose, mouth and fierce, piercing shrieks of need. Robust baby fists clamped into hammers.
They laid you on my chest. Expectation bellowing from your perfect mouth.
So much a stranger .
All those folks had lied when they said that I would know you, well I didn’t. Morphine panic set in and I thought maybe a mistake had been made and if we could, perhaps, put this little one back and bring out another? Like that lime-green sweater I had returned to Nordstrom Rack the other day. “Sorry, I just don’t like the fit.”
But when I closed my eyes and touched your hands, pink shells of nautili, I thought I heard the seagulls back home.
I saw my mother sewing those ragged towels from Zayre into my Big Bird costume outside on the makeshift patio she had crafted on weekends when she wasn’t working.
I saw my aunties at our Christmas tamalada.
I smelled the Spanish tortilla and felt my grandmother knitting my thick, black hair into lumpy braids down my back and I felt humbled by the weight and work of motherhood.
A heavy bird who still manages flight.