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Poems to Babies and Children

By Zoë Bird -- Santa Fe, New Mexico
© All rights reserved.

Reaching to Hold What Cannot Be Held

You will come to us clear as a soap bubble.
No one will have hurt you, no one
will have told you to stop your singing.

I am stretched around your body
in this pain and exaltation because we loved too hard,
your father and I,
we couldn't keep the stars out.
How strange to exist like this,
an unwieldy satellite circling a mystery
built of nine moons and their sickles and reflections,
built from kisses and fights, our little breaths and angers,
one moment that knit the DNA of dream.

Perhaps you are why I survived the accidents,
the fevers, the burst appendix. Perhaps you are why
your father didn't take the mining job,
age sixteen, a thousand dollars a week.
He never knew why, just a feeling of no.
I think you must be the Oracle that says yes,
there are no mistakes,

The temple is right here.
You are as inevitable as the temple,
bound for a place where angels meet
and where angels are pointless.
This place is wild and steady,
there is nothing we can do.
When your body leaves my body,
stay curled in the palm of me,
let me keep on reaching
to hold what cannot be held.
You. Like wolves, like monsoons.

My love, my child, when you come,
we must do everything with our hands open
and our arms outstretched.
Put that in the pocket of everything.
Tell that to the water of you,
tell it to the morning glories
and the tumbleweeds that made you.

Green Butterfly Shower

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