As I held a baby in my arms for most of the afternoon, I thought about three blessings; my two daughters and my son.  This morning I lift a prayer for all those who feel overcome by the news of a pregnancy and hope that they have a way to protect that little soul when there is no one else to do the protecting.  I pray for those who are carrying a baby, that they may be safe.  I pray for those who are unable, through some quiver of the universe, to conceive their own child…for that loneliness and that frustration while all around them, their friends are rocking a precious bundle in their arms.  I pray for those who are opening their arms and homes up to children who otherwise, would have no arms to hold them or homes to shelter them…for those mothers and fathers who foster or adopt.  I lift up the babies this morning.

Only Child

By D. Nurkse

I cradled my newborn daughter
and felt the heartbeat
pull me out of shock.
She didn’t know
what her hands were:
she folded them. I asked her
was there a place
where there was no world.
She didn’t know
what a voice was: her lips
were the shape of a nipple.
In the park the child says:
watch me. It will not count
unless you see. And she shows me
the cartwheel, the skip, the tumble,
the tricks performed at leisure in midair,
each unknown until it is finished.
At home she orders:
see me eat. I watch her
curl on herself, sleep;
as I try to leave the dark room
her dreaming voice commands me: watch.
Always we passed the seesaw
on the way to the swings
but tonight I remember
the principle of the lever,
I sit the child at one end,
I sit near the center,
the fulcrum, at once she has power
to lift me off the earth
and keep me suspended
by her tiny weight, she laughing,
I stunned at the power of the formula.
D. Nurkse, “Only Child” from The Rules of Paradise (New York: Four Way Books, 2001). Used by permission of Four Way Books.


1 thought on “Babies

Leave a Reply