If She Was Mine

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If she was mine

she would have been born in this room, before dawn’s light could creep through the blinds

If she was mine

her name would not be her name, but something else that grew over time, as she did inside

If she was mine

my milk would be hers and hours we’d spend intertwined

If she was mine

we would be inseparable day and night,

and no one could know her mind as I would

If she was mine

her brothers by blood would live here in this house

and they’d call her “my sister”

and it would be fine

If she was mine

But she’s not

so instead, we tiptoe around with our words

“is she your third?”

(No she’s not)

and someone else carried her inside their womb

Not me

and when people ask, I think “can’t they see?”

That she’s not

She’s not mine

so bottles I scrub, and the basket it stands

and I pass her over to her mothers’ hands

twice a week

She is hers

Not mine

and in time, she’ll be someone else’s too

and at first, will they think

“She’s not mine”

as I do?

but over the months and the years she will be

for she never really belonged to me

but to them

and when I see them I hope I’ll know

“Yes she’s yours”

and then I can let her go

but for now we will love her

and try to pretend

because though her time here will finish

the love won’t end

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