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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

More from
Poem of the Week

Dzvinia Orlowsky

Wine of Angels

translated from the Ukrainian written by
Natalka Bilotserkivets