For Theo


An audacious sunrise announced the morning of your advent, covering the city’s night sky.
Pear trees bloomed like stars, clean palettes for the veins of light,
pink and gold and purple, that heralded your coming.
Buds were beginning on the dogwood and crab apple trees;
I hurried under them, stepping on violets and wild onions, as spring birds sang.
The rolling rhythm of your descent pulled your mother down,
through pain and anger, past tears, into deep knowing.
The minutes shortened as she rocked you to Earth. Your father’s hands touched her power.
I watched her quiet solitude open a doorway for your quick arrival. 

She knew – you were close. The sun rose higher.
The time came. Finally, others understood, and your mother’s eyes burned clear
with sharp intent, a forceful gale of will that declared the moment.
Lights, hands, steady voices – a pause,
then the climb: head forward – deep groan – self and breath sacrificed – a channel stretched.
Then, rest. Your father held your mother’s hand. Then, the next push
that bulged and groaned and pulsed: blood and hope and promise, a whispered prayer
to your ancestors and descendants. At last, the zenith exertion:
the death of who your mother thought she was, the birth of who you are.

More hands, a twist of shoulder – a scream, splitting space-time,
echoing aeons of humans making their way to life –
and finally, your glorious dark hair breaking through in baptismal blood,
slippery body, plump and purple and pulsing, falling into cradle-arms.
The translucent blue cord was cut, but never the radiant rope of vibration
between you, your mother’s eyes, your father’s chest, everything.
Your cry, cosmic aria, collapsed the wave of uncertainty with sighs and joy and tears.
A flurry of flesh nestled you on your mother’s chest, in your father’s arms.
You came as divine gift of stars, strength, sunlight, stillness, spring.

In the quiet dimmed room after your birth, I looked at you and wondered, although I saw,
where you could have come from.
So perfect in your smallness, you drew a circle wide around all of us
who awaited you, fixed with love. Your cousin leapt in my womb.
You are fluent in the language of silence; you practice perfect presence.
You know what I do not remember, what I am taught again by your simplicity.
You are your mother’s hair, your father’s sternum, their eyes and skin,
your grandparents’ heart, your ancestors’ delight, your descendants’ life.

I hold you, messenger from beyond the veil – sacred guest – embodied promise.