for onan

o sweet boy
we found you between
the darkness and the dawn,
unsure about going on
longing for something we no longer know
(for we left that place long ago
and remember it not)

how much fear can one moment hold?
a life dissolved or brought fully here with
one breath, one tear.

your tiny fingers reach for tether
in this airy world, you seek touch
to ground you,
arms to surround you,
the sound of another’s heart close again.

we gratefully oblige, remembering being held by

now we hold you
and whisper in your ear:

• • • •

Published in New Millennium Writings, Summer 2000 Special Issue
Public Art: Bainbridge Arts & Humanities Council, Poetry Corners, 2004
Photo of public art poem “for onan”