A friend of mine is in the RS presidency out here and had the opportunity (if you can call it that) to visit a meth addicted baby in the hospital. Having four of her own children, one just a few months old, she was shattered by the sight of a strung out, five pound, eight week old infant. He's still in the hospital because they are still trying to wean him off the drugs. His mother has lost all rights to the child. She never even saw him. I didn't see the baby either, but he has been in my heart and prayers all day. As my friend told me about him my first thought was, "I'd adopt him! I can be his mother! I can fix this!" But, really, I can't. Even if I could adopt this baby (the baby's father and his extended family are there every minute in the hospital, on rotating shifts, so he won't be alone. The baby really doesn't need me), it wouldn't fix everything. Only Jesus and His infinite love can make it right. Anyway, this is what I've been pondering and, as usually happens with my pondering, I wrote a poem.
IF I COULD (a poem for a meth-addicted baby)
If I could,
The first thing I would do is feed you.
I’d lift your thin and shaking body and hold it to my skin.
I’d let my breath wash over you and to the thrumming of my heart
I’d cradle you against my breast, nourish you with warmth
Inside and out.
Then, if I could,
I’d look into your steely eyes,
I'd run my fingers through your downy hair,
I’d caress your cheeks, your toes, your impossibly tiny hands—
I’d hold them in my own.
I’d smell you and kiss you.
I’d revel in your newness and eternity.
If I could,
I would turn back all the minutes and months that are your life
and make them mine.
I’d be your mother and take you inside me.
I’d make you, protect you, start you all new.
If I could
I would be everything to you.
But I’m not and I can’t. I’m
a witness, a spectator, a bystander—
Outside your spirit,
Outside your body,
Outside your bassinette—
Your life, sterile, unmingled, is your own.
This is your struggle and I’m on the outside
Praying Something will make a difference,
Praying Someone will find a way in.
(this poem is copyrighted by me)