Christening

By Roy Dean Doughty
Written 3/31/08

Unlike the human heart, the air holds no energy
Of emotion, and yet certain immeasurable,
Invisible shapes have been embedded upon
Its histories of birdsong, and sunlight, and blossoms,
Leaving eddies in its currents, which flow
Into the body-human, and activate our histories
Of feeling. Now comes a moment
We imbibed as a child, when we heard,
On a similar sunlit morning, a similar
Eddying of greenery ruffled with the spontaneous
Twitterings of sparrows, a sound like our own name
Called by our mother, who was young then,
And filled with hope and worry. Ah . . . the human
Heart! Filled with its tiny, fragile bones,
The remains of all those aerialists, who every
Moment flit about in the denser foliage
Or our yet more fragile nest of vesicles,
Holding the body suspended, immeasurably,
Invisibly, in the branching intensities of its story.
Listen. If you are quiet, you can hear your name
Embedded in the very air, that infant cry
At the sudden surprise of birth, enriched
With a young mother’s sweet, post-partum sigh.

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