31 lines for 31 days of knowing you

By: Olivia Humphrey

i have never loved another in the way i have found myself to love you.
i have loved you the way the sun loves the dandelions
and the way the tides love the moon.
i simply cannot imagine a world where we didn’t save one another.

i have loved you since the moment the universe handed you to me.
the stars in the twilight aligned when your body seemingly fell into my open lap.
you were bright and brave and persistent so
i named you appropriately as jo, my little woman.

your eyes were doused in a thick haze
and your breath seemed foggy and thick as well.
your bright attitude seemed to shine through
the storm that i had no idea was brewing in your weak body.

a switch had flipped in that month we had known each other.
the doctors started with “your baby is going to get so strong! putting up such a good fight!”
and ended with “she’s calm because she’s so sick. she’s got no energy to live.”
two week prognosis, just two weeks into caring for each other.

i tried to leave your side as little as possible in the time i knew we had left together.
i would carry you anywhere you wanted to be,
letting my fingers slip between your ribs when you begged to be placed in my lap.

jo, i don’t know how much you remember of the night you died, but
you had collapsed in my bathroom - and my fate-given mother’s intuition told me it was time.
on the way to the emergency room, you cried out for me. i answered with:
“mommy’s here. i promise mommy’s here and she’s not leaving.”
you stopped breathing before the doctors could even look at you.

the towel i buried you in probably weighed more than you did at that moment.
the top of your head was all i saw of you that day. that was probably for the best.
i kissed it softly before reminding you how much i love you.
more than the sun could love all the dandelions and all the daffodils,
more than the tides could ever be pulled over the shores by the moon.

i have thanked the stars every night since we met for bringing us together,
and now, when i look up at the sky, i can thank you too.