Perhaps it matters a bit to you
whether ‘Mama’ or ‘Dada’ came first,
but your first words aren’t on your list
of your greatest accomplishments.
You don’t think of that moment often,
and you figure you’d have figured it out
with or without my help.
I wanted to give you the best, of course,
but never mind those hours spent
equipping you to be
Martin Luther King Jr., Jr.
if God so desired.
I treasure more in my mind, you see,
the rest you’ve left forgotten-
With you in one arm
and your food in the other,
I spoke to you of infants,
and as you lurched with none of your new,
now developed coordination-
not to clutch the jar but
to smudge the face of the pictured babe-
did we share in each other’s excitement
or did they scramble up one another?
Your face lit so when mine showed you
all that you had done-
not just recognized
but communicated back!
We’d burst into a new world,
not brilliantly, but at all,
and that made much the difference.
I treasure most in mind, however,
not that we’d communicated,
but the next communication-
interchange of heart,
shared experience of hope,
your treasuring so,
the mattering so much to you.