Supportive is the word we use now. I’m supportive
of my six-foot son, father of six, meeting
the woman who gave him what I couldn’t.
He didn’t wake when I cradled
him at the hospital and hurried
back to our motel. My young husband
and I carefully unwrapped his small
perfection, dressing him in clothes that
would make him ours, not knowing
that little frame held seeds
of a 270-pound body with arms that easily
lift and hold a 4×8 sheet of anything
over his head. He doesn’t look
like a Kevin, Art said. And there,
perched on the bed, with him
between us, we tossed names in the air.
We hurried to the plane, holding
him close and I imagined her
alone in that hospital room.
Was she staring out the window, trying
to convince herself
that she’d done the right thing
by this unnamed child
who didn’t open his sleeping mouth
for the warm milk I offered?
Worried, I called my mother
when we got home.
He won’t eat, I fussed.
He will, she said.
Tears, hugs, tears, laughter and little boy scrapes
followed. I thought more about him—
less about her.
Today, miles from here,
they are meeting. He tells her I’m supportive.
Surely, that’s what I am as my feet try
to find balance on the shaky floor.