Margaret Rampton Munk's "First Grief" (circa 1980)

Last night, my daughter--
Mine by right of love and law,
But not by birth--
Cried for her "other mother."

Accountable
And duly baptized she may be,
But eight is young
For grown-up grief,
The first I cannot mend
With Band-Aids,
Easy words,
Or promises.

I cannot tell her yet
How I have also cried
Sometimes at night
To one whose memory
My birth erased;
Who let me go
To other parents
Who could train and shape the soul
She had prepared,
Then hid her face from me.


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