I stand in front of the mirror.
Standing and staring.
I can hear her crying in the other room.
Softly, though. Not loud. Not screaming. Not wailing.
Just enough time for me to take things in. Zone out the sound.
I stare some more.
I turn sideways. Looking. Never breaking contact.
My eyes follow my body as I turn. And turn again.
Over four years later I turn to my daughter and explain.
She hasn't noticed it before, but she is going to see her daddy.
He'll have marks of his own now.
Appendectomy. She knows something was taken out.
I explain that there will be marks on his skin.
Will there be Band Aids?
Do children care about much else? Band Aids heal all.
I don't know.
I show her. I share.
This is where you came out of my belly.
She is fascinated.
And how big was I?
I motion with my hands ...
About this big, I tell her.
How big were my feet?
I tickle her feet. Motion to chop them a bit. She laughs.
We talk. We look at various parts of her body and I reflect as best I can.
Can I see again?
I tug at my waistband. Lift up the pouch a bit.
She points. I nod. Yes.
Did you have Band Aids?
We move forward. Onto something else.
But me ... I am forever inked with the memory.