U-Turn-A Birth Surprise


 Zach Birth


April 2002

 Dear Zach,

It is tradition that I write a poem for each child.  I never control them.  They come at their own pace and in their own way.  Yours has been hiding.  No wonder, it isn’t a poem.  I was waiting for images and rhythm and all the time, surprise!  It was a letter.

It’s your eyes, you see.  Look in the mirror, stare at your picture, use the web cam.  They’re always wide, your eyes I mean.  Open, round, amazed you finally got here.

Believe me the surprise wasn’t all on your side.  But I didn’t realize until today how vast, how huge, how time spanned your surprise was.  I can understand it now.  You’d been trying to get here for years.  But redheads and girls do need to be first.  And Jub Jub felt if he waited too long no one would get the Star Wars connection.

But look on the up side.  If you’d been first, who would you have stared at, flirted with, rolled to?  All this activity is perfect for you.

Yes, I understand your concern.  Your parents had no clue you were waiting.  Still none of the prevention worked.  And as you’ve no doubt discerned, they’re not unhappy you’re here at last.

So Daddy was late for your birth; when you surprise people that happens.  No, don’t worry.  I won’t tell him what you have in mind.  After all he should be getting used to surprises.

So glad you made it,


Zach turned out to be the  caboose in the grandchild train. And a very colorful and perfect one he is. As Zach grew, his hair became a riot of red curls. So Jub Jub (Ian) is the blonde middle for two decided redheads.

Jan DeRuiter

About Winding Stream Press

Janice DeRuiter Eskridge, M.F.A. is a poet who worked for over a decade as a poet-teacher for California Poets in the Schools. Helen Shoemaker, Ph.D. L.M.F.T. is a university professor who teaches in the areas of child development and counseling. She is also a therapist in private practice.
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