the baby aisle
that it hits me hard
square in the gut
as I'm touching the pink
soft cotton ruffles
of a tiny short-sleeved dress.
Warmer weather will bring the gifts of sun
and a beautiful, anticipated baby niece
who will wear the purple and pink garb.
It will bring songbirds that sing of spring
and long, hazy lake days with two sets
of little footprints embed in the sand.
But my arms won't cradle
new fruit from my womb
like I'd twice hoped during a long fall.
I remind myself that ripe fruit
tastes just as sweet as that
freshly picked from the vine,
cup E's smooth cheeks in my hands,
in the baby aisle of Target
my stomach somehow feels
all the flatter,
and the months I thought
that separated me from the grief
of releasing two small gifts
seem merely like