Thursday, December 13, 2007

A Surprise from NPR

On Wednesday morning, NPR's writer's almanac featured this poem. I recommend visiting their page and hearing Garrison Keillor read it.

"Upon Seeing an Ultrasound Photo of an Unborn Child" by Thomas Lux, from The Drowned River. © Houghton Mifflin Company, 1990

Upon Seeing an Ultrasound Photo of an Unborn Child

Tadpole, it's not time yet to nag you
about college (though I have some thoughts
on that), baseball (ditto), or abstract
principles. Enjoy your delicious,
soupy womb-warmth, do some rolls and saults
(it'll be too crowded soon), delight in your early
dreams — which no one will attempt to analyze.
For now: may your toes blossom, your fingers
lengthen, your sexual organs grow (too soon
to tell which yet) sensitive, your teeth
form their buds in their forming jawbone, your already
booming heart expand (literally
now, metaphorically later); O your spine,
eyebrows, nape, knees, fibulae,
lungs, lips... But your soul,
dear child: I don't see it here, when
does that come in, whence? Perhaps God,
and your mother, and even I — we'll all contribute
and you'll learn yourself to coax it
from wherever: your soul, which holds your bones
together and lets you live
on earth. — Fingerling, sidecar, nubbin,
I'm waiting, it's me, Dad,
I'm out here. You already know
where Mom is. I'll see you more directly
upon arrival. You'll recognize
me — I'll be the tall-seeming, delighted
blond guy, and I'll have
your nose.

h/t to my twin

Oh, and since this is a theological blog, use this as an opportunity to think through the possibility of traducianism vs. creationism as pertains to the human soul. While you're at it, pick a fight with your pastor about how many angels can dance on the point of a needle. (My baptist friends already know the answer: Angels don't dance....or, if you've read Good Omens, pp. 256ƒ, the answer is one.)

4 comments:

Viola said...

Things Chris,
I enjoyed that with my late coffee this morning. I once had the pleasure of sitting back stage (in Sacramento) with my husband and the performers from Prairie Home Companion during their show. My husband had tuned the piano and we couldn’t get tickets so they graciously allowed us to sit with them.

Charles Williams once walked out of a university class because the teacher was putting down the medieval discussion of how many angels can dance on the head of a pin!

Anonymous said...

Things! Sounds like I was having more than my late coffe!

Viola

Toby Brown said...

Really beautiful piece of writing!

Thanks for keeping up the Reformed evangelical population and doing your biblical duty to be a fruitful multiplier!

Chris said...

If I can't get my CPM to certify me ready for a call to an existing congregation, there's no rule that says I can't grow one on my own!

Now...is this an approved work?