Ode to a First-Born Son

Written for my son John, born 21.7.1968.

A son! A son! I have a son!
Surely I never loved before.
Oh, joy! My life has just begun.
No bliss has ever touched me more.

His eyes are like his father’s,
His brow is high like mine,
And yet this tiny baby
Is a person on his own.

He’s been put into my keeping,
A charge that’s so profound
It sometimes terrifies me,
Although I’ve been around.

I’ve nursed others’ babies,
But his crying tears my heart.
His suckling sets me trembling.
Each movement makes me start.

His hands so tiny grip my thumb
As though they won’t let go.
Each time I walk into his room
My infant seems to know.

He knows that I’m his mother
And love him heart and soul,
That I would live or die for him,
That he’s made my life more whole.

I have loved my brothers,
And I have loved my friends,
And I have loved my husband,
But from beginning until end,
One doesn’t know the depth of love
A person’s soul can plumb,
Until one loves a baby born
A daughter or a son.