Friday, September 26, 2008

Young Parents at the Hospital Entryway

The father clutched the baby to his chest,
running his broad hands
over the cornrows like a tiny crown:
Young parents, faces etched
with a fierce pride,
Eyes narrowed against all comers, but as well
Wide-eyed, bewildered by the dizzy fact
that something had gone wrong
with him, their jewel.

They seemed so fearful
He'd be snatched away--
and surely soon that would happen as well.
The young man looked so tender, and the woman was
distant, as if her cup of pain
had overflowed already and could not
hold more; as if she could not swallow
further hurt.
And the child himself--I heard his name
but I won't repeat it here,
Will not invade him
as I'm sure he has already been;
But he was beautiful,
a radiant ebony,
unaware of all his parents' fear,
Nestled in the sphere of their deep love.

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