He had been pregnant, I realized
And now she was awake in this world.
This beautiful, faey-like being looked at me with new eyes
And old eyes
Standing so still I could see the beat of her heart through my evening dress
Deer-like in her sudden startling wake to this place
And to my knowledge of her birth.
It was a startling and sudden shift in our bedroom
Shared in silence, fear, hope, and change.
It was more then anything our birthing-room
Though I knew nothing of the secret pregnancy he had carried within himself
Cuddled in the wide expanse of his ribcage.
She was here and suddenly it was all so real
And as if I were a parent instead of a partner I reach out tentatively
To gently touch her long wispy hair for the first time
As she trembled
Waiting for words to surface from my throat.
There was nothing I could have said in that moment.
She was beautiful and terrifying all at once
In a way I suspect I will feel only when I hold my own child for the first time
Filled with new responsibilities, worries and dreams.
But I fell in love with her
On that cold afternoon in our stuffy bedroom
Curled in my dresses and laced in my jewelry.
She was the birth of all he had wished to be
And in his death he had left me her.
This beautiful being naive in womanhood
And I would teach her, nurture her, and love her as I had loved him
And the rest we would find out together.