you were the first



i remember like it was yesterday, walking down Grant 
street where we would someday live, your father and i 
and you, walking down that street a month or two before 
i met him, not thinking of anything in particular, as 17 
year-old girls sometimes do. walking down that street with 
dreams in my head, in my heart, and suddenly i heard 
someone call me "mama." it was so clear and so loud, but 
inside me, ya know? clear and plain. "mama." well, i stopped 
still in the street, stopped by shock and a feeling of inevitability. 
like it had already happened, and i hadn't even met your father yet. 
that was months away, but your voice was in my head at that moment. 
i didn't know your name, didn't even know if you'd be a boy or a girl. 
and i suppose some could say that at that moment, i planned you, but it 
never felt like that. no, it never did.

denise

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