When my daughter is placed in my arms, my mouth falls open and I squeal. It feels good to have my husband, Richard, at my side
and our daughter in my arms. I never regret my past, what I did. I embraced my time for revenge and lied with a confident heart. Yet
God found it in her heart to have mercy on me.
“She’s back!” I shout, squeezing my eyes shut and opening them again.
I have seen her face before! I know my baby. The exact same little eyes and nose. The same birthmark over her eyebrow. My girl-child did not go to Heaven. Her spirit left the old body, yes—but stayed with me, only to return right back in my womb. All is finally well.
I take in a deep, satisfying breath and nod to my beloved Richard. He rubs my back and kisses my cheek. My mother hums faintly as
she pours warm stew into a wooden bowl for me. It is hearty with beans, corn and barley. I watch Louis play with a soft toy made of braided hay in the corner of the room. A few days earlier, we celebrated my birthday along with his tenth one.
We have found a new commune beyond the lake and mountains where we were welcomed with open arms. They helped us build two cottages side by side. Mother took up work as a medicine woman and healer, so we are able to get by while Louis goes to go to school every day. Richard and I quickly found ourselves working alongside the water cows, like old times but better. Water cows are such large and gentle creatures, but if you don’t feed, water and pet them enough, they will bite your ankles and drag you drowning into the water. Most are too afraid to tend them, but Richard and I can’t get enough of them.
A warm, soothing sensation takes hold of me. Is this what peace feels like? I shift my gaze back to the child in my arms. I hold her
close, lean down and inhale. She smells like an enchanting angel. Her scent does something powerful to me. She smells the way beauty and purity might if they could be laid into a barrel and churned with a plunger, like how we whip milk to make butter. I touch the fine
hair of her head. I run my knuckles along her delicate cheeks. I kiss her little feet.
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