Wednesday, May 10, 2006

A Love Letter to Jessica

For those who may not know, I have been fortunate to be a part of Nerissa Nield's writing groups. On the very day I was writing this poem to my very very favorite (and only) daughter Jessica, Nerissa was giving birth to a daughter of her own. So here's to the fathomless blessings of daughters:

For Jessica

Take both eyes, both hands,
My legs and arms,
Even take the precious German clock
And every special book.

Take my bank account,
All twenty photo albums,
My garden in August
And the miraculous April rain.

Take it all if you can promise.
I knew in the instant this would be so.
I’m in to any burning house,
On to a frigid raft at sea,
I’m ripping the mangled steel with my bare hands.

Anything, anything for this girl.
The edgeless corners of the truest love
And the endless reserve of cavernous protection
Surround this child who lives within and without,
This fantabulous kid with the crack up wit
And the tender expansive heart.

Take it all, whether you are a son-of-a-bitch
Or an evolving angel,
Whether the cost is temporary or forever,
Take it all, and then shelter this child
Through every molecular motion and moment.

She sits at a desk in Anyville
And she finds little bargains at the malls.
She eats salads at Bugaboo Creek and
On Sundays brings Sprite to her grandmother.
She is an anchor in an unsteady world.
She is hybrid fuel to those who love her.
She is a reason to push
And the forever foremost answer
To everything that could ever matter

Given the chance to love like this,
The price of my sightless limbless body
And wiped clean barren possessions
Amounts to nothing more than shiny pennies and
And effortless will.

That’s all. That’s everything.


  1. Oh ... wow, KJ ... now I'm all teary! :**) What an *amazing* poem. I don't even know what to type, other than to say you nailed on the head how I feel about my girls. I love these lines paricularly:
    "She is hybrid fuel to those who love her.
    She is a reason to push
    And the forever foremost answer
    To everything that could ever matter"
    I'm going to print this out and hang it here by the computer! Thank you for sharing this ... whew ... I need a tissue. :)

  2. melissa, i thought of you after i wrote this. i was sure you experience this same vast vast love. thanks as always for your comments. ps i especially appreciate that you cried....

  3. This is my first mother's day with both my girls ... I feel so incredibly blessed. It makes the rough spots okay. :) And ... I'll come out with you on the John Denver thing ... LOVE him!