I cried on the elevator, then over lunch and later at my desk. It’s funny now. They call me Weeping Will. Weeping Will stands looking at people who know him and though nothing they do is different today their sighs of resignation and the way they hug their file folders to their chests are enough to make him lose his equilibrium because this time I believe it all will come true; we will have our baby and there will be joy on earth. In the barn at the farm upstate there is frost on the windowpane; its brittle little fingers break my heart. Why does the world need one more child? It doesn’t: I do. What wound will she heal? Someone on earth should know how much I love her. Her I will tell in words, with deeds. Finally, I will be capable of deeds. Roof rats scrabble in the loft. The earth sleeps at my feet. Trudging to the house I see my breath like fog and realize I’ve been telling myself a story, my voice fat with promise. The house is listening. I’m telling it what to expect. I see her through the kitchen window bending to a task. Light like honey from the salmon sun on the horizon bounces off the crusted snow and sets her face aglow. It staggers me. I stand and gape. I’ll never make it to the house but here is enough—exactly this close, facing down a billion circumstances with a choice as simple as sharing a glass of water—more than enough for a man with eyes to look without thinking at candlesticks and cupboards full of cookies, at the imponderable curve of a beautiful woman’s neck, and weep for the beauty of the hope we show when we try.

Copyright © January 30. 2008 David Hodges

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