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.