I close my eyes and try to breathe through the pain.

It’s been hours.

It comes in waves that swell and overtake rational thought.

But there is a focus that persists, leading me back to clarity with each cleansing breath.

Bring her out!

Do not relent!

Suddenly I am holding her in my arms.




She is crying.

I am holding her.

Twenty years
have squelched
  the magic
   of her head
    on my chest.

My lullabies cannot soothe
and my touch
  on her face
   brings little comfort.

I wonder how this can even be possible.

How are we here now,
in this place,
  with all of this pain?

Wasn’t it just a few moments ago that

        I promised her

                 the moon

                           the stars

                                    as I rocked her

                                                by their light?

Where are the stars?

Where has the moon gone?

Did we tell him goodnight one too many times?

I am holding her.

She is crying.

I will not relent!

I will bring her out!