Monday, August 14, 2006

How Old?

I know, it's all relative, but this old blogger feels even older today. Not because I am celebrating my own birthday, but because I now have a daughter that's ten. Or should I say, I am celebrating my tenth anniversary of becoming a parent?

Anyway, here is the poem I wrote for her birth:

SPLASH-SOUND for Jolee Pauline Lineka Cohen

When the doctor lifted you into view
and announced that we had a new daughter,

a brief tender silence interrupted
the bustling hum of hospital din.

And your supernatural appearance,
a melding of glistening blue and pink,

solidly knocked the breath right out of me
with a gentle, yet powerful blow.

The primal smell of birth was rattling,
as I hovered above you, astonished,

listening to your small staccato cries
as several nurses gently rubbed you down,

swaddling you tightly in hospital cloth.
And when they handed me this brand-new life

that you knew only as yourself, nothing
more, your mother said to me from her bed:

"Recite a poem, Bill."
I drew a blank.

What could I possibly say?

This tiny weightless bundle in my arms
and all I could think of was one haiku

by Basho: "Old pond/frog jump in/splash-sound."
Here you were and that was what I whispered,

your tiny heart trembling in a new pond,
the ripples from your splash powerful enough

to carry me forward from this brief moment
all the way to the very end of Time.

Copyright © 1996 William Dickenson Cohen.
All rights reserved.

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