Baptism by Spit up

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Baptism by Spit up

 

I’ve known baptisms

by water and by fire,

by rain and by tears.

 

I’ve known baptisms

that bring me to my knees

and send me dancing through the night.

 

Today, I know baptism by spit up,

my child’s bodily blessing

as I rush to feed him

 

before we load the car,

buckle the belts,

drive to school and office and

Midtown and Downtown,

 

singing an unending litany

of here and there and burp cloths

and bottles and breast pumps and

jackets and diapers and shoes and

lunches and bags and did you get that?

and where did you put those?

and goodbye, I love you

as the door shuts, car starts,

here and there

we go.

 

There was no falling to my knees

or dancing through the night.

Instead, I sang an “Oh, shit,” and

shouted, “Bring me the burp cloth!”

 

Did I say please?

 

Today, I know baptism by spit up,

my child’s bodily blessing

as I rush to feed him.

 

My child, the greatest

teacher I know.

© Claire K. McKeever-Burgett