Sorting by

Skip to main content

Re-enter the world, a world
where, no matter how it first happened,
the spark of your conception, too, was Spirit,

as was the amniotic fluid—
a dream brooding in the slick of flesh—
the vernix a shield against unlove.

You wriggle from heartbeat to breast.
You are all wonder
in the sunshine of your mother,

first rain
of your father’s tearful delight.
Stars of lesser eyes

hover around bed and bassinet,
direct tenderness toward your startled cries,
even the blink of inquisitive pets.

Hands bear benedictions.
You grasp them, instinctive.
Little fears, big fears, and greater hopes orbit.

None pull off course—your being
the center of the currently known universe,
your need its pace and revolutions.

Even so, swaddled with care,
you’re lifted and laid down
like an oblation

onto your complicated future,
swaddled and laid again and again
like Christ pillowed on hay—

dried wheat and lentil still greenish—His own body
another product of the earth’s accumulated deaths
and, in them, its fruitfulness.

Photo by James Ahlberg on Unsplash

Deborah J. Shore

Deborah J. Shore has won poetry competitions at the Anglican Theological Review and the Alsop Review. Her most recent or forthcoming publications include THINK, Thimble Lit, The Orchards Poetry Journal, Christian Century, Ekstasis, Relief Journal, and the Sejong Cultural Society.