Hiccup and Coo

The world is fuzzing sound;
blurred by brand-new sensation
as you learn and
grow and
stretch,
day by day.

Body wracked by hiccups,
feeding and pooping and
farting and burping.
Bodily functions endear at this early age;
each one a victory worthy of celebration.

We wait for you to wake, though
you find the most solace in sleep.
You are a cooing gift
we were happy to
receive.

by Erik Shinker

Little One

(For my nephew)

Your entrance was preceded by
your mother’s cry of pain
and followed by your own
announcement.
“I am here,”
you proclaimed, though
the words haven’t been given to you yet.
Your mother’s struggle supplanted by
the love felt for you as you were
lifted, a gift, into
maternal embrace.

I hope you have your father’s sense of humor;
his ability to express the
boundless love he feels
for those he cares about.
His frugality, integrity, and
honesty.

I wish for you
your mother’s laugh, her
fierce spirit and
intense loyalty.
I hope you have her stubbornness, and
her refusal to back down
when facing the seemingly insurmountable.

But these are just parts of your possibility;
the truth will be so much more.
You are a combination:
both the before and
something new.

We’ve been waiting here for you;
we’re happy that you’ve come along.
A family, made a little bigger,
a little brighter, and elevated as your
giggles signal the
hope of another generation.

You will do things we can only guess at;
songs will touch your spirit,
stories will guide you,
and you will learn
as you take your first steps.
We will pour ourselves into you; and though
your family may, at times,
struggle to understand you,
(and you them)
know that you are our kin.

And that means something.

There is so much love for you that you
will one day understand;
I am overcome with the splendor of you,
and you have only just arrived.

I won’t hope that you don’t make mistakes;
we all have, and you surely will.
But, I wish for you to learn from them;
take your parent’s advice and heed them.

I wish I could spare you from
the pain of the world,
but that would only serve to
keep you from sharing
all you have to give to it;
and you have so much to share,
little one,
so much.

by Erik Shinker