For Alice.                                                          12.15.15

You don’t expect laughter

On a Tuesday night at 11:00 pm

To be coming from

the hospital chapel.

You don’t expect smiles

To spread across

tear-stained cheeks

As a mother clings

to her husband’s waist

And speaks of the kind of love

That only grows in darkness.

You don’t expect the warmth

Of sisters’ tight embrace

To stave off the chill of icy rain.


But this is what happens.


This is what happens

When the stillness of a child

Envelopes the entire room.

This is what happens

When a silent moment is broken

when children start dropping

the same river stones

that grandparents hold

in tight-clenched fists.

This is what happens

When a child’s birth

ushers in Immanuel,

And family reconciles

to bear witness to

this grace and peace,

And Heaven decides

to take you back

Lest their own loss

be too great.

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