On the cusp of spring, night inky, I joined the world black and blue, into the hard light of a Seattle hospital.

Big and round body, eyes on their way brown. My mama, gaze warm and hair long, ached to hold me, touch me.

It was an amazing day, my papa says.

A girl, I deep loved and felt pain for the poor and lonely, wept when misunderstood and called nearly everyone friend.

I sparkled sun from beneath shadows, carried sorrow in my pocket next to music.

This morning, I am 38, and my Mama will bring me tulips in coral and pink, leaves rimmed white. She will put them in vases, find lovely places for them.

You have always been like spring to me, my papa says.

Today, all day words will pour love. I will feel treasured, seen, grateful.

And I will hold this cusp of spring time close because it is me.

The darkness knows its way through my heart, my bones, my mind. I’ve felt it and held it, and I know that place tender, waiting winter, not speaking.

But I know deep the dark readies to birth color, days beginning spring stretch toward bright bursting glory shine.

We suffer cold dark and slow, but the fire of coral joy, it is coming.

I know it in my bones.