Your first birthday. I’m up early
steeping tea, saving a quiet hour
before you begin your funny answer
to the rooster, the hungry lambs, the cranky geese
who yammer through the fog outside your window.
I’ll hear your soft hoots and crows,
my mother-brain suspended, listening
as you sing yourself awake a good half-hour
while the rest of me gets on with words.
Language is my edge on entropy--
my last hope, I used to think.
Now there’s your language, truer than any
you’ll ever speak: It translates nothing,
is the pure voice of the nascent soul,
your mind’s croissance, your natural joy
tongued forth moment by moment like new
leaves. Knowing this
comes later, when tongue and brain
have learned to struggle with what they mean.
Now, you fit the world perfectly, no space
between you and its laughter. Blessed state,
the primal wit remembering before the Word
what the poet labors to bring forth:
harmony incarnate, the first Yes.
Title poem of The First Yes: Poems About Communication,
ed. Barbara Goldberg, Dryad Press, l997
& in Color Documentary