You step back and look at your handiwork.
The leg at one end has been lovingly repaired,
and your critical eye is aware
that your work is not perfect,
that anyone looking closely can see
the line of the break, still,
the crib stands firm again,
peaceful and strong.
Your children slept here -
tiny babies then, you used to watch
them in the night, marveling
at their perfection and promise,
wondering if your own father
had the same sense of miracle,
when you too,
laid there more than half a century ago,
and his father before him, and more....
four generations of babies,
four generations of miracles
repeating themselves, as if we
somehow, needed reminding,
again and again,
unable to accept the reality
with just one new life.
The crib lies empty now,
save for a pair of dolls,
a reminder not of your daughter's childhood,
but of generations to come,
who will turn this relic into something living again,
a rebirth of sorts, a reminder of how God's gifting
brings life to the old and tired,
love to the broken and worn.
I really do have a crib in my house where my children, my self, my father and my grandfather all slept as babies. And it's full of my daughter's dolls. But the one in the picture is more picturesque and so it shows up here instead of the one I write of in this poem. The picture was taken in a house in Ashville, NC. You can click on it for a larger version.