Tiny Perfect One

I hold your tiny form
and watch your face:
the confused deep-blue eyes
that only open for seconds
and close again in exhaustion.

Wisps of reddish-brown hair
and delicate arched eyebrows
tiny, questing tongue
and furrowed brow.

My heart swells
investigating long fingers
with too long nails
sensitive feet
hating to be tickled.

Tiny and perfect
only on loan
until my sister comes
to take you back to your crib.

Would I, could I
have one like you?
Would they have your eyes?
Your brow? Your hair?
Would they be bigger than you?
Quieter? Noisier?

I think my lover, the one that got away.
The child we would have had
and raised together.
Tears well,
as I stroke your cheek,
and fall,
for you and me and her,
and the fantasy child
that will never be
but that I will see with
my mind's eye
grow, live and laugh.

Beth Shaw 10/07/01

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