"Daisey Magdalen," photo by Rachel Conley





                  for Luke                                                


        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