For Harper

A friend of mine wrote a poem for Harper. It's difficult to respond to a poem especially from such a gifted poet because the first thing you want to say is, "It's beautiful." But “beautiful” is no word for a poet. When I give people paintings they can say, "It's beautiful," or "it really looks like me," because I am a painter. I don’t not work in words. If, for instance people had to respond to my paintings with drawings, well I'd probably like that very much, but it would be difficult to communicate how they felt.

Well, I haven't figured out how to tell this friend how I feel about her poem. The least I can do is share it with you.

carbon, love & water
To Harper

meet the world's pale recycled light
bordering a thousand ancient molecules
draped in mossy old growth forests
and cradled by the bluest basins of ocean
a planetary gala, that's the love,
welcome little one.

you are made of mother and father
and all the pieces of their history,
and stardust, don't forget,
the constellations are hung over your bed
like bioluminescent blueprints
and like the first skywatchers,
(the Babylonians knew the moon)
your north will be true.

learn the world with nomad spirit
you are connected by the love to everything
here, trace the seams of the earth,
hold little truths in your palm like pearls
the solar system revolving
and gather the sun each morning
in you perfect irises
and let your heart remember the patterns.

Erica Schlaffer