There is a scar on your waist
I once gave you. I look at it in shame
as you lie sleeping in the early evening,
worn out by the events of the day.
It is this moment
where I fear I fail to measure up
to the delicate stillness of your face
cloaked in autumn beard,
the same beard my father wore
when I was a child.
You will welcome a girl,
the unknown babe inside me
that I imagine already holds
your strong brow,
perhaps your voice too and artist's hands.
I am the vessel, you two are the liquid.
I get to hold you both -
the mass touching the curved edges
of my hollow - you on the outside
and her as the interior.
I watch you sleep in teary thankfulness
knowing what it is like
to be a churchgoer who handles snakes
and drinks poison in deep-fed faith,
knowing what it is like to throw my head back
and howl in another tongue,
praising the greatness of God.
- Rachel P. Joiner