A Heart Holding Life

She is made of a framework weary from the chemicals to cure her rare illness. Dirty blonde hair hangs just below her shoulders, beautifully combed and pinned away from her face in a red bow. A presence of pure compassion emanates from her frail bones cloth’d in pink and white. Situated on her chest, a large white box beats her heart whole. I am also sick, my body limp on the floor and this child smiles at me with hope. We sit for a while, the room a blur, her wide eyes capturing it all while resting on mine. There is dialogue, her laugh is small yet fills the room with light. My heart begins to ache and a bubble rises into multiple impulses to cry. She notices, mirrors my reflection and crawls into my arms, head nuzzling into my heart. The impulse heightens and her pure love softens my body into a wail, deep from my gut. Over and over a crescendo of grief rocks my body alive again. I am across the room now watching myself rock back and forth, her at the center, calm. When I let go of her, I am back to myself, wiping away wet cheeks, now blushed with embarrassment. The room has gotten clearer, rose-gold hue fades to white walls and a bronze walk-way. Her mother is waiting with her nine other children, who are healthily running around what now has become a lobby. I continue forward on their timeline up staircases to an initiation that takes place at the top of a hill of a miniature set, or a gymnasium split in half, or behind the only house painted white. I lose track of the rules that seem to be perpetually changing and spin out into a shack left for hiding. There, time slows, I am older and I see the girl, also older. I wrap my arms around her shoulders, her soft hair that is pulled into a pony tickles my nose and we laugh. Swaying in an embrace that generates a warmth full of pinks and oranges radiate into a gift to be left on the doorstep of knowing.


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