Posted Monday, May 29th, 2006
In the Ward Zone
Well-wishers swoop down
With trappings of newborn joy:
Blue carnations and balloons and tiny booties,
Destined to droop and drop and fall by the wayside.
Wave after wave of heartfelt, hollow Hallmark greetings crash over me:
Congratulations! Heís beautiful! Youíre so lucky!
(Whoever invented the exclamation mark should be shot.
All babies look like Winston Churchill.)
Then the inevitable question is lobbed:
What are you calling him?
I dodge with the safe, diplomatic reply:
We havenít decided yet.
(If I could, I would not give this baby a name.
No. I will not give this baby a name.)
But the men who legislate insist on naming.
Registration is required, so Simon will name him.
He will rally the children and
Open up the roof of the car.
Beams of sunshine will gild their rosy cheeks
And the breeze will carry their laughter to heaven,
(While I wait with the no-name baby,
In the trenches, choking on the stench of
Ammonia and congealed hospital food,
Unable to shield myself from the
Agonies of about to-be-mothers,
Besieged by piercing shrieks of ever-needy infants.)
I know: The enemy, once named, becomes formidable.
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