Holding My Grandson, Come to Land This Morning

By Judith Curtis

I swaddle you tight to mimic the watery womb
of your metamorphosis,
where you emerged, tugged by froggy legs
from your mother’s belly
not two hours ago.
The doctor cut you free from the enchanted pond
of your gestation and laid you on her chest,
a lump of jelled flesh held together by waxed skin,
where you flopped and twisted, mired
in the glue of gravity.
Our pulses beat in and out of sync,
yours rushes, then slows,
the irregular breaths sighing minuscule protestations
at having to force the nothingness of air
into damp lungs.
Your amphibious eyes, liquid blue, squint and blink,
unused to light,
while your mouth works like a tadpole’s on the side of an aquarium,
you are hungry, hungry for milk,
the potion that will complete your transformation.
I cradle you, my hatchling child, and ponder
what your birth reveals about origins;
how water is our first world, then air, then earth,
and it is left for us to tell how we have tried
to solve the mystery of fiery flesh
that welds us to the ground and
subtle spirit that lures us up to seek
what came before and
what is yet to come.

About Judith Curtis

Judith Curtis lives in Phoenix, where she volunteers at the Desert Botanical Garden and tries to beat the quail to the lettuce in her vegetable patch. She composes poetry, essays, and stories for her grandchildren, featuring them as the main characters. This poem was written for a dear friend when she lost her husband after only five months of marriage.

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