Our neighbors recently had a baby boy. This is the poem I wrote on the day he came home from the hospital.
by Jason Crane
Sunday morning —
Sweet soul music,
Archie Bell and the Drells
Canâ€™t stop dancing
While I sweep locust leaves
Off our porch.
Then itâ€™s Marvin Gaye with a
Soul sacrament, his own
Worship of the joined human form,
While I fill the recycling bin and pick up
The kidsâ€™ rockets and bouncy balls.
Across the street, a ceramic pelican
Heralds the arrival of a new
Who comes home from the hospital today.
The Stylistics sing a backdrop to
Dog walkers, leaf rakers,
And two brothers chasing each other
With a bright orange butterfly net.
Our rope swing sways in an autumn breeze
As the little one starts crying,
Not wanting to come inside.
Then a red Jeep rolls to a stop
From a speed so low that the brakes
Are barely needed.
The neighborhood is instantly alert.
A silent signal —
And the boys screaming â€œThe baby!â€ —
Brings everyone from their houses.
A dad (!) takes his first steps
Onto a driveway filled with new
Dangers and joys.
His wife slowly emerges from the passenger seat,
One hand on her lower back as she
Leans against the Jeep for support.
A circle of eager children is
Held at bay
By cautious parents.
A boon is granted —
A glimpse of tiny new life
Nestled in blankets,
All but covered by a striped hat.
Young Mr. Magoo has come home.
They slip past the pirate and the ghost
Suspended from the porch
In preparation for Halloween.
The door closes,
And the street lets out its breath.