You had so many names before you had arrived;
you were so many people then,
before you were even… anyone
As we counted down the days, daily
like the children we had once been,
marking time until Grandma’s next visit,
until we could look into your eyes for the first time.
But you were better than a hundred grandmas,
and Santa Claus all rolled into one. You see,
you were so many people then
before you had arrived.
Schroedinger must have understood,
watching his cat, but waiting for his child:
until observed, anything in the world
could be anything. Or anyone.
You were Elliot the Clever
with a smile that twinkled of mischief
not yet quite finished
You were Jordan the Strong,
like the unchanging river that winds
through a land older than even our memories
You were Avery the Explorer,
tramping endless English country lanes
whistling a tune amid the autumn leaves
And you were Benjamin, too
Quiet and kind, slow to anger,
but quick to forgive
You were all of them, all at once.
But when the dawn came,
and we could hold on no longer to our treasure
of countless unseen children,
we met, and had to say “goodbye.”
Goodbye to all of them
to all of them but you,
who we hold most dear.
(Came across this message to myself, dated 02 Dec 1999 – I wonder how
many other forgotten poems I’ve got stashed away in my email!)