|December 25th, 2005|
I don’t have any Christmas poems.
But since my brother and his wife are expecting a baby boy in June, and my friends Todd & Heather just had a baby girl, and my friends John and Michelle expect a baby any second now, here is a little thing about that moment when you first get the news.
I suppose I will have to learn to make gravy.
Isn’t that always the father’s task? To carve birds
To bits, ineptly; to understand the intricacies
Of lawnmowers. To determine allowances, and allow.
That’s all a ways away of course; an apprenticeship
Comes first, where the demands are simpler: feed me,
Keep me warm. The sort of demands that are always there
Even when the world has revealed more complexity.
Before that comes today: a few days of settling
Into the life that now seems confirmed. Good God,
How can we afford it? Hmm, whom shall we tell first?
And anxious watching for her first signs of nausea.
A first few days to watch her decide herself, choose
Something I can only experience by watching.
I asked her, “Do you mind,” as if that question
Were the right question. But it is the only question
When we are faced with the process of birthing
Ourselves, isn’t it? Do we mind. Of course we do.
It scares me, must scare her; the labor will be longer
Than anything we have done in our lives,
And I have never been good at mowing lawns.
But still, How can we afford it? How can we not?
Whom shall we tell first? Well, she told me;
I took her hand and told her; now let me tell you.
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