midwinter prayer

she came, as expected, head first into

the harshest winter we had seen.

 

her mother carried her these last weeks

below freezing, belly bulging, against the cold,

while our little furnace kept us warm at night

kicking towards spring at 136 beats per minute.

 

she came, as expected, with a full head of hair,

the heritage of nations wet and clinging, (as if

their lives depended on it), all curled into one:

Austrians and Mexicans, English and French,

Americans and Russians, and those native to

this country of her birth—all left their mark.

 

now I see that that peace between nations

will only come to us as a child, (then as now)

the weight of time witnessing her first cry,

(unsure where to turn, but willing to learn)

intuiting her way towards a mother’s heart,

followed by sleep reconciliatory and kind.

 

the sound of her name, forty long weeks,

tuned words to song, tossing variations

on a theme to each other, playing by ear,

(not forgetting the Austrian Aussprache).

 

the book says Annie means Prayer,

and Evelyn is one who brings Life,

together she mends our broken circle.

 

may she bring life to those on the margins,

who are sick with fear, rejoice with all who

walk the fringe for whom none else do cheer.

 

for those who will not, cannot, and have

forgot to pray, may she remind us that

that there is longing enough in every

human heart and words beyond our grasp,

but that if He who is every creature’s friend

will feed the sparrow, we might find

ourselves again anew, at the break of day.