This second labor seems to be instead
a rending of the heart; these startling pains
of separating stun. I fight against
release this time, unyielding as a stone.
I steel myself, and still I feel the press
of bone on grating bone; I seal myself
and still I feel your wild emergence from
my hold. I rage that I cannot undo
this wrenching passage splitting us in two.
But then this morning, when you left me with
the slamming of the door, I watched you walk
away across the sunlight in the yard,
long-legged, newly beautiful and strong.
It seemed then that your shadow opened wings,
a fleeting, fragile movement on the lawn.
And something in me eased, surrendering;
a breathing out, a sudden tendering.
-- Deb Cooper