One

Today you are one. In a year ruled
by numbers–length and weight, milliliters consumed,
soiled diaper counts–365 days is the one
we celebrate. But you have been my daughter
much longer than that.

You were one
of seven fertilized eggs, created
in a lab instead of my body, but made with love
as much as science. You were one
of three embryos transferred to my uterus
on the third day of your existence–a flash
of light on the ultrasound screen.
In your first baby picture, alongside
the other two, you were 5 or 8
or 10 cells, the only one that stuck.
You were a part of me for nine months
(minus four days) and then,
one evening, you were separate.

But you are older still. Before we were one,
you lived in my mind and in my heart,
an idea I had of what a daughter could be.
You were the reason we endured
hormone injections and blood tests, all
the intimate details laid bare
in a cold room. My insides vacuumed out
–twice–in pursuit of you.
You were the reason for the tears
I cried when I thought I would never
hold you, when the pink and blue invitations
arrived, celebrating someone else’s baby.
You were the child I saw when I saw myself
a mother.

None of my visions could paint you clearly.
You are more and greater
than I could have imagined
because you are in my arms, instead
of my dreams. You are louder
and wilder and stronger than my watercolor yearnings.
You are one. And you are everything.

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6 thoughts on “One

  1. Daryl, I am adoring this series of posts. Each one is a little piece of poetry and such a loving tribute to baby girl. Sorry I haven’t commented sooner. xx

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