Introducing the New Baby to His Sisters

for National Poetry Month and in honor of J and S's new baby

Make sure your arms are empty when the big sisters arrive. Just this once, let the baby languish in the plastic bucket. Put away the beatific image of mother cuddling infant. They don't want to see that. They want to run to their mother's arms, minding any tubes or hurts, marveling at all the plastic bracelets.

Now it is time.

Set them down in a chair, show them how to make a cradle with their arms. Then give them their brother to hold. Let the first glimpse be in their arms, not yours.

Yes, the days will come when they have to be patient, when they are annoyed at the fact of him. But not today. Today he is someone they must shelter and love. I promise, with flesh of their flesh laid across their dimply knees, they will understand this.