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they say it happens when their tiny translucent fingers

find and curl around one of yours so much larger that

your doubtful heartful of love begins melting inside out

while your face shifts, your smile feels enormous forever

frozen in that one moment, to repeat over and over

more times than you can imagine as this small

half of you grows up and away but never too far

although they believe there is a separation

it's all an illusion, we store the seconds, the thirds

in our brains like the broken jewels they are

who needs necklaces or bracelets with charms

coffee cups with Mom or Dad written too large

when children can sparkle or wear you down

just as easily in an instant, even grown ?

(my father warned me long ago but I didn't believe

him, what did he know of love?) That's what

I thought, despite knowing they had lost seven

the remaining five of us barely protected or

so we all felt, back when there were rules

back when my mother's hair had no white

back when we were told babies come down

from the clouds of Baby Heaven in pale blue

or pink, sometimes to stay with us in a bassinet

recorded in faded photographs, my mother pale

my father not in the picture but taking them

mostly at Christmas or Easter, none of us

ever look comfortable or happy with outdated

coats and hats askew, white gloves for

church where God lives and loves us all

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