On Wanting A Child
by Adriana DiGennaro

I've only one wish so I ask for one minute
of holding my one-year-old self.

I sit the baby in my lap, pull her in,
nearly cry at the size of that hand.

And I take it and it fits
in the center of my new palm, soft on dry

the word touch is redefined
By one tiny toe brushing past my calf

she remains strangely still, being held,
staring around in peace.

Only her eyes are her own: blue.
I'm suffocating--

nose yet to bridge.
Mouth yet to speak.

That tiny fat replica, crooked line of leg--
and those egg-sized shoulders

I don't move. She smiles, puckering lips.
I can't imagine letting go

twenty years turned her face into mine
two decades of Alone.

One minute to hold her
then an empty lap again,

heavy as grief. If I am to cradle
a piece of myself, I'll have

to grow her from seed. So I promise
to till myself like soil,

rich and upturned and ready. Child,
I vow to hold you, fill the empty,

I will turn myself to earth so you can grow.

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