25 years ago,
my sister gave birth
through her skin;
her 3rd cesarean.

I captured the moment
with a failed flash;
emerging head illuminated
by surgical lights
otherworldly glow –
The door to Heaven,
briefly opened.

I held him first, cradled
his small, still bloody body
mere seconds before
reluctantly releasing him
to his father.

We walked to the nursery
together while they sutured
the gaping wound
through which he arrived.

Last year, I repeated the act of
returning him to his Father.

More painful this time,
because I know
he won’t be coming back.

I am practicing heartache,
learning to let go gracefully,
without tears or whimpers.

Each time I let go,
I am learning the way
to loosen my grip on what
was never really mine.

To say,
not goodbye,
but later.

The things I have
I hold closer.
They too
will leave me someday.

I am learning
how to hold on.

I am learning
how to let go.

4-1-11

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