My friends Chase and Mellisa Reeves are, as I type, bringing their son Aiden into the world. We are all following Chase’ twitter updates as though they were weather forecasts. It’s like being around a radio in the forties or something. So tonight I went on a walk and said a prayer for Aiden, and for Chase and Mellisa, who have had a hard labor. I also wrote Aiden a “welcome to the world” poem. Welcome, Aiden, to your family, to your community, and to God.
The Proper Grieving of a Fallen World
A Poem for Aiden Reeves
Do you remember, Aiden, when we were naming animals,
and the serpent fooled that ignorant couple with a trick,
and then all the birthing came with screaming,
and the fields were filled with weeds?
Perhaps the memory will come back slowly
like it has for the rest of us,
brushing our teeth, counting fifty strokes,
looking through the mirror wanting more.
I don’t want to bother you, I know you’re busy
but is He as good as we want Him to be?
Did you speak to Him or look at Him
as he shoved you through the tubes?
We haven’t been here long, either, but the memories are foggy.
At our worst we wonder if He is real.
Is there anything He wanted you to tell us?
Will you answer while you learn your breathing?
Will something good come from the pain?
What is the proper grieving of a fallen world?
Forgive me, Aiden, for putting this on you.
You can’t remember any more than we.
You go on now, learn your hands and space and time.
Learn your dogs and cats, your soccer stats.
You’ve come into a place, a small community of people
who are learning to name the things we miss.
You can join us if you like.
You’ll be missing something soon.
We don’t have many answers save the one you brought us today,
as your mom and dad stayed up all night
to painfully receive you from the hands of God:
The proper grieving of a fallen world, is joy.