As they slip from life to life
through cracks in the universe
that death cannot seal,
infants, when they join the world,
bring infinite radiance with them,
tiny strangers, seeking shelter.
Every child, filled with light,
brings love and a powerless
request for love-returned.
Every infant, a gift for us;
a chance to practice charity,
to hold the tiny hand of wonder.
Lucas James, Bringer of Light,
tiny person, long awaited,
little prince in a common world,
opener of strangers’ hearts,
you flood the world with love.
You studied my face yesterday,
your little lips pursed in concentration,
maybe in wonder. Your look
swept from my eyebrows to chin—
from ear to ear and around
the fringe of my hairline. You observed.
You unpeeled me with your gaze.
An eternity passed while you took me in.
It was the same for me
when I first held you. I studied your nose,
your long pale eyelashes, the rumor
of your eyebrows, your tiny-perfect ears.
We have each measured the possibility
in the other. We don’t need language
—And you . . .
you have that eloquent look.
My grandson smells like angel dust
—that sweet smell of hope
and the memory of Eden.
He conforms, wrinkle for wrinkle,
to the top I wear, in such complete
relaxation and trust—sleeping.
Fragile as an orchid stem,
his tiny neck holds his head,
crowned with spun-platinum hair.
Oh, he can be determined.
His little cry demands attention
when he wants to shift position,
to feel dry and warm. He’s
figured out how to feed
and knows when he’s hungry.
He mostly sleeps
—a fringe of pale eyelashes
edging his eyes, pressed shut.
His peach-bow mouth moves
in smiles and pursings.
His mother’s nurse declared,
the force is strong with this one,
before he was born.
And it is. He raptures
the stoniest heart to tenderness.
He evokes the protectiveness
of lions in the gentle visitor.
How can someone so tiny
change the world so completely?
NEVER TOO MANY GRANDPARENTS
Lucas, you came into the world
attended by four grandmothers
and your grandfather.
Grandma Elizabeth, Liz,
Daddy’s mama. She brought
your Aunt Bo (Bonnie) to your birth.
Your mama’s father was there:
Grandpa Sheldon who loved
you from your first breath.
Your Grandpa’s wife,
Grandma Tsend, a pediatrician,
full of joy, her bright smile a beacon.
Grandma Renae, who gave
your mother life—who carried her
under her heart with absolute love.
And me, your mama’s mother.
Your Grand-ma-ma. Overwhelmed
by love for both of you.
THERE FEELINGS ARE CLICHÉS
I’ve never been good at seeing
family features in babies’ faces.
They all look like Churchill.
But you have your mother’s ears,
her lips, and her chin.
You have your father’s eyebrows
and maybe the color of his hair
(though it is hard to tell
with his shaved head).
You have your own charm.
You were born with lots of hair
spiraled in a cowlick. Hair
the color of stardust sprinkled
in the palest honey-colored sand.
Marvelous hair. Magic hair.
I wonder at how a bundle,
lighter than a sack of flour,
can generate so much over-
How your breath comes
so regularly through those
tiny nostrils; how you dream
of something beyond our experience,
wonders of the newly born.
How you quiet right down
when you hear your mother’s voice;
how, after just a few hours, you
seek her from across the room;
tied at the heart.
You are a miracle wrapped in wonder.
An ecstasy-machine, dream fulfilled.
You are love in a receiving blanket.
You are my grandson.
What better way to celebrate our Seed of the Week, Babies, than with a real new-born: Lucas James Stephenson, grandchild of Katy Brown of Davis, CA, born in late July. Thank you, Katy, for the fine poems and pix, and congratulations to you and Lucas' parents, Miranda and Paul!
White moon comes in on a baby face.
The shafts across her bed are flimmering.
Out on the land White Moon shines,
Shines and glimmers against gnarled shadows,
All silver to slow twisted shadows
Falling across the long road that runs from the house.
Keep a little of your beauty
And some of your flimmering silver
For her by the window to-night
Where you come in, White Moon.
—Photo by Katy Brown, who also read
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