They feared you would be early, so the doctors sent your mother to the hospital four months pregnant. She lay in bed, gathering days. Me at home, collecting hours. The two of us hoping in smaller and smaller increments. Then, that night in October, I rushed to the hospital. The road
dark, leaves falling upon leaves. And a deer, suddenly, in front of the car and across the road. I stopped in time and saw her, half in the woods, turn and look back. A fawn, fall-brown, tried to follow but hesitated and dropped, hiding itself in the grass. I could see the rise and fall of its chest, its soft eyes. All of us still for a moment, cautious in the autumn chill.
You were born on the edge of life. Twenty-eight weeks. At the hospital, we slept that night to the hum of an incubator, to thoughts of what a narrow tube could carry. To your new, small body. The window that looked onto the parking lot was cold to the touch. A night you could see your own breath, the breath of another animal.
Now, frost on the pane.
I draw a face, you a heart.
The start of something.