The strangest birth of all
There’s nothing quite as strange on Earth,
And nothing really more unknown,
Than what we tamely call a birth,
And none is stranger than your own.
You can’t say where, you can’t say when,
You can’t say who or even what
You’ll be until you are and then
You are yourself and nothing but—
Just one, just once, just for a time,
Never before and never after,
And call it miracle or crime,
In praise, in tears or even laughter,
You are the heir, the heir to wonder,
That one leaves off as you begin,
Whatever stars your birth is under,
Whatever genes you bear within.
The gods and heroes and the saints
And their reply to Being’s call
Imagination fondly paints
Beneath the One not born at all.
They came when Earth had wed the moon,
From foam upon the ocean tide,
The magic fruit born of the womb
Of withered crone or virgin bride.
Then comets streaked across the night
Or flowers tumbled from the sky;
The Earth would laugh in great delight
And ripened grain would multiply.
But all the splendor on the page
And all beneath the moon and sun:
Until you’ve leapt upon the stage
Nothing really has begun;
And so the ways the blest appear
Are walk-throughs for the world premier,
And all so that you might be shown
The strangest birth of all: your own.