In that hospital room, my hair fell in my face.
The long wisps got caught behind my glasses
and stuck to my wet eyes.
But I didn't dare to reach my arms up and brush it away,
because that would mean leaving my stomach
open to the gazes of our visitors.
They would have to see my still, vulnerable bulge,
swollen with a baby that had already left us.
They would have cringed, looked away.
The aversion of their eyes to my baby would break my heart.
That stomach would press into their worlds and burn there
and force us all to contend with the inevitable.
I resisted the itch to raise my arms, protecting her despite my failure
So I let the hair cluster up around the moisture on my cheeks.
and let it hang there until I couldn't stand it.
Then, you braided my hair. You sat behind me when I needed you.
I don't forget that you waited for my signal or how that must have hurt.
Your eyes must have dripped and you must have let them.
You protected me despite these human failures by keeping your hands
wrapped up in my hair, never dropping the strands to wipe your nose.
For those moments, you took on the heavy sweet tangle.