The Light Inside


for Jazmyn King (due date: Dec. 30, 2015)

You were a print of light pressed
into a waxy dark sheet. Your mom framed you
while I carried you in my wallet and phone.

I stood in your white room — the black window
trim and floor boards, the Espresso dresser and
crib watched me fold your onesies,

watched me contemplate the country of fatherhood,
where experience alone won’t grant you citizenship.

I hang the fluffy pink sleepsack, the doll-like plaid
dress, the white coverall and cap freckled with
green and blue Cockatoos.

Everything hangs, waiting for you to fill them
the way your mom and I waited for you

to fill her womb, we waited through the tears —
pacing and praying you’d be stronger than the ones before,
barely a glimmer when they dimmed.

Now, your mom’s a lamp, whose light comes
from your kicks and punches, from watching the star
in your chest flash on the ultrasound,
from your persistence to enter our life.

If there’s one thing waiting taught us
it’s that patience is the currency
of anything worth having.

So I rub your mom’s tummy to
feel your elbow, then your fist —
grateful for the light inside.

4 thoughts on “The Light Inside

      1. This is beautifully written and sincerely tears at one’s heartstrings. You will be an amazing Father, it’s all in your words. Years adds years of steadfast, powerful, consistently great words.

      2. Thanks for the encouragement. We’re counting down the weeks (4 more to go!). I’m already thinking of conversations we’ll have when she’s older. I also smile at the thought of her being a Daddy’s Girl. Thanks again.

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