Until We Held You: Poem for a New Baby

closeup of newborn white baby held by adult white hands
We have been waiting for you. Each night,
We sit between the stones and the sky,
Looking up. The rabbits sleep under hydrangeas.
The squirrels retreat to the trees. The flowers
Fade. Then the stars appear, gradually,
The moon ripens, and suddenly the sky
Is as bright as God, as bright as you.
 
Our eyes have been tired. This world was
Winding down until we held you, heard you,
Saw in you the features of our families.
All whom we remember and once knew—
You are him, you are her, you contain
The past we know, and more that we don’t.
You are the river of hope, and we
 
The tributaries now. You will run
Faster. We will not catch you. That is good.
The river is not to be caught. The river
Carries both fish and broken branches,
Seeds and soil. We can’t know where you
Will go, but know that we will follow,
So you can show us the world anew.
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