Thursday, July 26, 2007

Poetry Thursday -- Familiarity

Here's poem written in response to feelings brought on by the adoption of our daughter.

Familiarity

Two adults with children
Seen anywhere together.
First photo of a new baby,
Pictures of kids as they grow.

You search to see, cannot help
but ask – how are they
alike? Does he look like me?
Does he have the “family” eyes?
Does she have, heaven forbid,
the “family” nose?

How pleased we are to say and hear
“He looks just like his daddy” or
“She’s a spitting image of her mommy.”
As if a match was to your credit.

It’s done without thinking
this alliance of familiarity.
Why do we claim a child
through bone or body shape?
After all, the surface shows
So little of what a person is.

This superficial visual sort
cannot be the only way
to put together family.
What a different process if
character was as visible
as the color of the skin.

6 comments:

paisley said...

and truer words... i have a step father and grew up hearing unceasingly how i must have been the mail mans....it is unsettling to put so much emphasis on the physical characteristic... when what matters most is the love....

gautami tripathy said...

Love is what counts. Nothing else should matter.

Rethabile said...

That last stanza hits home.

Brian said...

Congrats on your daughter being welcomed into a loving and caring family. A family that sees beyond the obvious.

Clare said...

Congratulations on your adoption of your daughter! What a happy and joyous occasion. And I really like your poem and the message in it -- such true words. You should print this poem out and hand it to people when they make an insensitive remark to you!
:)

tumblewords said...

Wonderful! True. Guess it's always been so - the identification marks we put on children, people.