You came to the world first through letters.
First there were three, and the next four spelled out B-O-R-N.
You came out into the world first through a language of bodies,
a poetry of family, six hours of some extended metaphor
and your mama’s roar, your father’s hands like gentle stone
carrying you over the water as our candles burned.
Sometimes, this life passes in a blur so rapidly, you may already
be starting to see what I mean. Processing the amazement
and the gratitude along with joy and pain must be difficult
since there are so many things you’ve not yet the languages to name.
So I’ll tell you what’s been up with me:
I’ve been walking by old pasture springs
walking through along the heights
of the City’s tallest buildings,
rambling along the seven golden highways,
reading old books in the cathedrals of thought,
forging letters and words like the ones
that make up your name
and spilling them out onto the page.
Now let me tell you about the day you were born:
It was sunny and the English clouds were tumbling slow
And I was many miles from our home—
Go ask your parents the weather that day
and what time of day it was.
Your mother and father had thought about you for a long time
and they loved you even in the moments that you could promise them nothing
even through the long passing years and months
you were only just a dream, a possibility, a wanting.
Here is what they will try to tell you with every gesture that they make:
We all come from the same beginnings, when you really look at it
but you are here because somebody called for you
because you were needed by us all, because we knew
that you would make this world a better place—
And look. In the kind of funny grace of things, you came.
And here you are:
One day you will find yourself being held in a cradle
or a river or an ocean or a park, born into your first memory.
One day, they will put you down and never have to pick you up again.
You will find yourself in a classroom or highway taking in the world.
I wonder when you’ll hear or read this, and if you do
what you’ll think about reading it.
The world is filled with beautiful puzzles made of letters.