For nine months that cord fed you, cleaned you, prepared both of you for this moment. But when the time came to let you go, it coiled itself tighter, not ready for its baby to leave, not ready to say goodbye to the home you two shared, the home it worked so hard to build.
We watched as your blue face turned to the soft pink that lights up the rural Louisiana sky after a long day's work. We heard as your first breath came out in a gurgled cry.
I would like to think you were the one we got to save. The one whose cord we could slip off from around your neck in time.
I would like to think you came into this world right as she left; that you two passed each other at the crossroads of life; that she offered you her last breath as a parting gift, as a blessing, which went like this:
May this breath sustain you longer than the 30 years it carried me,
may it ask the questions I didn't have time to answer,
may it blow sweetly into the ears of future lovers,
may it whisper, ‘I love you,’ without doubt,
‘Thank you,’ without guilt,
‘I need help,’ without fear of judgement,
may it calm you through the obstacles you will have to traverse,
may it drown out the bitter voices that deafened me,
may the only thing that takes this breath away be the beauty awaiting you in this world.
-- In loving dedication to my dear friend, who died by suicide the night I witnessed my first birth.