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In our version your father kneels beside me

on the receding checkered tiles,

waiting to receive the news.

You float before us, raiment billowing,

your long boyhood curlsblond and bright as lightning.

I am praying the usual prayer,

something about protecting you

from illness or danger.

Your words travel their diagonal trajectory

like a bullet

into my ear, through my brain, into

my bloodstream. My womb quickens.

What was only dread has

taken up residence.

I am not full of grace.

I am not blessed among women.