Late one night in September 1982, just before the birth of my second child, I sat down to write a poem that would be the baby’s birth announcement. In my mind’s eye, I was seeing the beautiful animals as they marched, two-by-two, into Noah’s Ark. This was my second baby . . . Noah’s Ark and the animals in two-by-two procession . . . it seemed to me that this poem was all about the number 2. I tried several times to start my poem by referencing the Ark’s paired creatures but it just wasn’t happening.
Then, suddenly, words came pouring forth and the poem took a turn. It became an homage to my two brothers, Rob and Steve, who, at the ages of 22 and 19, respectively, had been killed in a head-on car collision. I was twenty-one at the time.
My family and I cried a king’s ransom in tears over their untimely deaths. Because we played “When You Wish Upon A Star” as the recessional song at their funeral Mass, forever after, when we looked up into the night skies, we picked out the two brightest stars, imagined them somehow watching over us, and were comforted.
On this night, however, not knowing whether my unborn baby was a boy or girl, I found myself writing of our “two stars” and of how I was able to see that they were giving back to us something wonderful in return for all the years of tears we had shed and prayers we had prayed on their behalf.
Just a few days after having written this poem, I was cradling a beautiful baby boy in my arms. My Robby.
Here is the poem I wrote to announce his birth.