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An envelope with your rounded printing. I take out

a card of Henri Rousseau's Child with Doll -

the stocky worried girl in a red dress, clutching

a worried doll, listening, knowing the whole

landscape is going to erupt through her, life

will depend on her -

                    then your twelve-week

ultrasound with its five night-blue images

framed in calibrations and ID.

I have albums tracing your quick expressions back

to your infancy, but here I'm looking at moonlight

falling into an excavated grave. Or is it

a distant galaxy? The small gathering bones

glow where faint light picks them out,

a constellation of vertebrae. Hubble

portrait. Reverse grave.

                    What a woman holds -

river of earth from the Milky Way, where we hatch,

to which we return. From my unwinding whorl I'm looking

through your night sky at forming stars.

Inside those I can almost see smaller stars.

Mail from My Pregnant Daughter

John Steffler

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