Monday, May 18, 2009

First Steps


Have you ever stopped to gaze at the ones
who have only just learned to stand?
Heads tilted back, open-mouthed and unblinking
they open close open close little fists
clutching at
iridescent sashes the angels dangle before them
the silver-wrapped rain that falls for them
like kisses.

Or having watched a toddler chase his father
down a gravel path laughing
parrot-screech then water-bubbling-over-rocks
instead of elbows riffling the air you saw
two tiny oars trying to row the ocean.

Nor can we prepare ourselves for the radiance
of their faces as when
running they become birds delirious with flight
the sun blooms behind a summer cloud
saffron crowns the treetops and turns the field
to golden poppies in its shimmer.

For if you would abandon your busyness
in a tantrum of red tulips burning through snow
reckless intoxication of twirling and staggering
you might catch the receding glimmer of a child's
former life--those last dying breaths soaring
again in these first teetering steps.

-----------Kathleen Flowers------------------

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