When I saw you, wizened elf,
Just born, laid on my stomach, looking back
At me with anger, surprise, frightened, glad to be alive
I held you
Small, bundled in a pack
Of striped hospital blanket; your arrival
Was planned but not expected.
I had read everything but learned nothing. You
taught me which theories to keep, which rejected. Who
knew that one could ever feel so bonded to a life:
Now, yesterday, tomorrow, forever. A gift.

It was my first Mother’s Day, the best
because it preceded the rest. As if
I needed a card to know the beauty
Of caring for someone beyond yourself,
That wee thing, that small start,
My wizened elf.