Seven years ago, this new life entered the world. For part of that first year, I cared for her in the middle of the day while mom was at work. Today she and her parents live with me in the house where I’ve dwelt for two decades. It’s been an amazing gift to share life with them in these years of personal confusion, loss, and renewal.
God always makes a way.
stretched out on my back across an
old quilt this three-month old baby
girl perched on my chest meets my gaze;
teaches me one word at a time
an ancient language lost to all
memory and education.
i echo her call syllable
by syllable only to show
that we tell more than we can know.
i have a daughter and a son
and thought that parenting would be
the school of soft knocks fitting my
soul for the tight squeeze of love; but
now they are grown and i chafe as
much or more not having learned
enough perhaps, or still having rough
edges remain too sharp or stubborn.
i wish better for you blessed child.
small pilgrim, begin your journey
bearing mysteries dark but true.
you will lose more than you can keep,
earth speech flow and ebb away; but
dim shadows lead to the rising
where the light will be uncovered,
the primal tongue unleashed once more
restores the lexicon of birth.
once more you speak the name of god.
August 24, 2010
for sojourner hope born on my birthday