For A Mother-To-Be
Nothing could have prepared your heart to open like this.
From beyond the skies and the stars
This echo arrived inside of you
And started to pulse with life,
Each beat a tiny act of growth,
Traversing all our ancient shapes
On its way home to itself.
Once it began, you were no longer your own.
A new, more courageous you, offering itself
In a new way to a presence you can sense
But you have not seen or known.
It has made you feel alone
In a way you never knew before;
Everyone else sees only from the outside
What you feel and feed
With every fiber of your being.
Never have you traveled farther inward
Where words and thoughts become half-light
Unable to reach the fund of brightness
Strengthening inside the night of your womb.
Like some primeval moon,
Your soul brightens
The tides of essense
That flow to your child.
You know your life has changed forever,
For in all the days and years to come,
Distance will never be able to cut you off
From the one you now carry
For nine months under your heart.
May you be blessed with quiet confidence
That destiny will guide you and mind you.
May the emerging spirit of your child
Imbibe encouragement and joy
From the continuous music of your heart,
So that it can grow with ease,
Expectant of wonder and welcome
When its form is fully filled
And it makes its journey out
To see you and settle at last
Relieved, and glad in your arms.
— John O’Donohue
The apple tree
on the lane —
“It must be more than 60 years old,”
And it still gives
Who planted it?
How many have gathered from its branches?
The tree stretches out its limbs and fruit so willingly —
unlike the orchard down the road that now sits just behind
bright red “NO TRESPASSING” signs.
This question of belonging,
it dwells with me.
These old apple trees —
can we own them?
There we were
12 years ago,
leaping into the unknown.
Before these little lives
were entrusted to us.
And then they came
so entirely —
and as we gave ourselves to them,
we found ourselves
I see you sitting
in a tree
and calling out to me.
You want to be sure
I see you —
and I see the place you have reached.
You want to be apart
* * *
Now you are far away.
I cannot see you
or the tree in which you’ve built your nest.
I hear only stories
You say you have found
someone to be your witness there.
But I hear a voice telling you where to place each foot,
directing you so loudly —
the sound travels across the continent.
And I remember,
the way you knew how to find your own way
into the tree tops
as a child.
* * *
Your tree still grows
and you will find your familiar seat,
deep within its branches.
Illuminated by pink clouds.
Smooth, ripe apricots
in the bowl
are deliciously tempting
to busy baby hands
and curious cupid lips.
the pink lake at sunset,
the girl cousins,
and the way they are not so little any more —
floating on the water