Today ends a week of depressing poems. Someone posted (on facebook) a "Pay it Forward" for creative people - you reply to their status and they will give you something handmade, and you then must do the same for five others. I'm giving poems.
Your mother may have told you tales
of hospitals, painful labor until dawn,
your brand-new foot slathered in black ink,
your grandmother cutting the cord.
These are all lies, of course,
and some part of you knows it. That part
remembers the dark cave wall, the breath
of the one who painted you there, remembers
the thousands of years spent waiting
until the day the woman who would become
your mother arrived and saw your image,
ancient and wild, there on the cold stone,
and she stood there, breathless, awe-struck,
and decided she had to have you. And so,
she gathered wood, lit a fire beneath you
and sang to you every day
for a full cycle of the moon until
you fell off the wall, crying with joy,
into her arms.
One day your son will come to you. He will
inform you in his infinite innocent wisdom
that he knows the stork is a lie.
When you look at him quizzically
and he will state with all the sureness of a prophet
that he knows his father brought him to you,
a giant swollen seed wrapped in butcher paper
and sheet music and together you sprouted him
in rich dark soil until he grew big enough
to love you back. You will not correct him.
You will look at him, silent and stoic and finally
you will nod, and say, "That is the way
of our people."