Little holes in the heart

Medical science tells us
That we can, indeed, live
With little holes in the heart
I know this to be true.

Oh, little one,
You just set up a wail
In your sleep;
Then, like a caterpillar,
You climbed into my lap.
And, your tiny body bent into
My legs and knees,
You sleep on.
Your little chest
Moves up and down with the breath
That holds your precious life within
This small body.

Soon, I will leave you
And return home.
You will be a voice heard on the phone;
A few pixels on my laptop screen;
You will no longer be the smell
Of the moisturizer that you spilt
So lavishly this morning
No longer the tender fingers
That so often rub against me
As, in falling asleep,
You move them back and forth
Over my arms.

My love for you will overflow
From these little holes in my heart
That your physical absence, little caterpillar,
Will create, in little shafts
Of missing you unbearably.

And yes, I will live with those holes
In my loving heart:
I will take comfort
That you are growing
Halway across the world,
In a happy home.

You and your elder sister,
Precious to me beyond imagining
Will, once again, be tears
Stinging behind my eyelids
As I struggle to be rational about you
Even as I wish I could be with you forever.

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