Your birth was a curse and a blessing:
The curse: nineteen hours with my back like an
anvil, beaten under the hammer of
contractions. At the end, green-robed
automatons took the fire from me, pulled you from me,
so reluctant were you to be born.
The blessing: your sweet face, squished
and alien-headed ' swaddled in a towel,
you gazed solemnly at me,
wrinkling your tiny brow.
My springtime boy, my sunny-faced
brightness, you were born to an imperfect mother:
how sorry I am for that.
self-flagellation for multifarious sins against you
will continue until I die
your freckles and wind-tousled hair;
your love of books and bugs;
your meticulous drawing of the Sack of Troy
done with stick men holding swords;
the courteous, quiet dignity of the man
you will be, carried in the boy you are now-
these things defy me to say I have failed.
Every day's a blessing ever after.