Carried by my father.


I’ve been carried all my life, though at first I was too small to see. My father carried half of me in a small pouch, until he met my mother. I would have been forgotten, but mother came alongside of him with the other half, then placed me in the pocket she put all her children in.


So spare, so silent, she hardly knew I was there, listening, wondering, and waiting. All day she walked and rocked me. I slept as she moved through her day. When she lay down to rest, I woke. Day and night were both dark to me.


Before I knew the words, I heard voices muffle and murmur love, felt the soft bounce of laughter, and the sharp shake of tears. Hands spoke their joy and expectation, now patting, now prodding, now pushing against my feet as I pushed back. Too young for school and all alone, I tried to find the formula for X and Y that would please them. Outside they waited for a boy, inside I waited as a girl.


I tried my best to stay by staying small, but the pocket could not hold me. I knew I had to go. Thinking I should travel light, I even grew a smaller brain. How was I to know I would need a larger one when I got to that other place?


Leaving was the hardest; the passage, dark and narrow. Mother never had a smaller child or one so fearful to appear before the others. We struggled, both of us, until I was carried home.


Almost forgotten once, half here, half there, now here. Carried, always carried, by stories, time, and secrets.


I’ve been carried all my life. How about you?