by Thomas Davis
Three children, daughters and a son, each one
so precious that they sang alive our days,
extending who we were into a sun-
filled destiny where joy and love and praise
would always spin out like a spool of string
into the future where we’d live in glory.
So many memories: The girls on swings,
our son enraptured by a funny story,
the kind of living fashioned from the touch
of life on life, from parents into child,
the common daily motions that are such
a part of who we humans are, selves tiled
into a kaleidoscope of moment histories
defining love, our deepest human mystery.
As tiny, delicate as butterflies,
she sleeps inside the tent they’ve put her in.
Too young for whooping cough, her breathing, cries,
are fluttering, her living stretching thin
across the fact that she’s too young, too new
to face what is a harsh reality.
A second daughter, miracle so true
she opens up a universe to be.
Her mother spends a night, two nights, tense hours
of waiting, waiting for her breath to clear.
When those you love are threatened, all the towers
of hope constructed when you’re free of fear
are held suspended, waiting for the charm
of holding one small baby in your arms.
As beautiful as autumn maple leaves,
Vesuvius fires locked deep inside her bones,
she finds the strength to face her trials and weave
a rising from the place where she’s been thrown.
Sometimes her fires stir up a sweeping wind
that uproots trees and changes what has been,
but through the storms of life she keeps her friends
and throws her stress into a rubbish bin.
First born, her independence drove us wild
when hormones had her stretch her fledgling wings.
We wanted family, but in this shining child
we had a bird who wanted songs she made to sing.
And now she has a husband, two young sons,
A woman walking proudly in the sun.