“Swinging from Parents”

I’m feeling particularly tender today…thinking about babies and my empty arms. Thinking about the Chapman’s recent tragic loss, baby girls waiting in Chinese orphanages, how one can never truly understand pregnancy loss unless you have experienced it yourself, and the sweet truth that God knows our hearts so deeply and intimately.

Here in Lincoln we are honored to have Ted Kooser, Pulitzer Prize-winning poet and former US Poet Laureate, living amongst us. He had an elementary school named in his honor this spring and read the following poem at the ceremony. I love this poem for many reasons…mostly because I hope that David and I will have a little one swinging from our arms someday.

Swinging from Parents

The child walks between her father and mother, holding their hands.

She makes the shape of the y at the end of infancy,

and lifts her feet the way the y pulls up its feet,

and swings like the v in love, between o and e

who are strong and steady

and as far as she knows

will be there to swing from forever.

Sometimes her father, using his free hand,

points to something and says its name,

the way the arm of the r points into the future at the end of father.

or the r at the end of forever.

It’s that forever the child puts her trust in,

lifting her knees, swinging her feet out over the world.

–Ted Kooser

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