Renee Carter Hall
This tiger cub, striped tumble of paws,
little orange cherub, will soon grow into
the archangel cat, the feline cathedral
that is its mother. I would like to say
that the majesty that is tiger
already flickers in those light-dazzled eyes--
but it's only projection.
Babies become adults,
we know that much, but can only guess at more,
can only hope for what they'll be
when they emerge from time's chrysalis,
when they have left behind young animal play
and honed their skills for their natural lives.
Let's not forget,
Einstein once was baby Albert,
bounced on someone's knee,
for all we'd like to imagine him playing
with chemistry sets and chalkboards.
Mother Theresa was cradled herself long before
her arms held children frail with hunger.
Lincoln once wore diapers--can you imagine?
Try, and when you've mastered that image,
without the address and the predestined beard,
free of all portents from the known future,
go on to Hitler as a child--
sweet little Adolf, just learning to walk,
step by precious step, into the world.
© 2002 Renee Carter Hall