Long before the newborn child utters a word
it holds things—cloth, smooth plastic,
good grip on a thumb. And what it sees
the world receives. How the sugar maple receives
the robin, thrush, harbinger of spring, delicate
bone to limb when it lands in the passing of flight.
How the dirt receives the burrowing flesh root—
release to nutrient—how the earth feeds the sapling
now held to the wind. The wind
that receives the robin’s wings once
memory of breath received in the mouth.
You will wake
one morning on a morning like any other
will feel for the first time that breath—alchemy
of heart and lung and the body’s thousand
mysteries—trying to recall the secret
once heard in the wind how it spoke your name
ever so softly as if to say what’s received
was once given and the maple outside
will bleed some fantastic color falling
as light through the window something like
the sea at dawn. Reach deep into blue water
the waves with their fingers will caress your hair
and you will forget for a time what is to come
as the moment receives your love, this touch.