Miracle Child

(for all my friends who adopted  their children)

I thought I knew about miracles
when I saw my children born
Who could believe it? A microscopic speck
from me, swims in darkness to find
the place in her that makes a child
Cells joining in a woman’s body
to make another body inside it
and, in a final flourish
deliver it breathing to the world

But you, you know a wilder joy
more reckless, less defined
of a child born in a far-off place
in Peru, a Chinese province a Russian orphanage a small town in Iowa
your hopeful ad clipped and carried back
by her sister on a plane
Flesh of a stranger’s flesh
now one with yours

Oh, the egocentricity of we birth parents!
Who weep at sonograms rather than phone calls
Who think something as invisible as genes can equal
the stillness of a child from another world
asleep in your arms at dawn

Yes: You know something of destiny
of the random events that overturn our lives
of a light that travels from a distant star
to land in a high chair in your kitchen
or a car seat behind you
to teach you the terror of parent-love
with its nightmare risk and its searing, heart-bursting joys
brought by a life that against all odds
comes out of nowhere
to pierce your mornings with its cry

–Published in The Pedestal Magazine

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