ONE OUT OF NEST, & THE OTHER

SHANNON ELIZABETH HARDWICK

 
 

I take my daughter like a wasp

nest in my hands, tender &
dangerous at the same time.

 
Whole body whirled through

parks & her father’s house &

I have to watch her as she goes.

 
I can’t take her out of the world

like I did her sister. I can’t erase

her eyes or skin or bones or

 
not fear the inevitable I brought

her to by choosing to take

from that high space, her safe

 
corner where the other ones,

rooted in whatever stuff is made of,

in the origins of their making.

 
She may genetically be like me.

She may be hurt by her father,

or by her mother. I look at us,

 
a pair, in the mirror. She’s the one

I will have to answer to. When

does this fear go away? I’m sorry,

 
I say, as they both come to my door:

the one that was born and the one

who wasn’t. I decided the best
 
way I could, given the time

I made them. Their bodies, one

out of nest, the other still in it.

 
I’m sorry for what I’ve done

or not done. I said, See me?

with hands out, tearing it down.

 

 
 

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