Every year, on the day I prepare my taxes, I go through stack after stack of old papers and envelopes, looking for the elusive and essential document that I tossed aside, since I’m an incorrigible slob.
And every year, as I scrounge through forgotten envelopes, I find some surprising treasures. So far today, I’ve come up with a beautiful old letter from my beloved Diva, Martina Arroyo, my husband’s old license, the registration for a car we donated last year, and a plastic bag filled with quarters, ostensibly for the laundry.
But much to my surprise, I found something precious that I thought I’d lost long ago. It’s a sonnet I wrote for my daughter shortly after she was born.
I hadn’t seen it in years, but I always remembered writing it, and thinking it might be my best work.
It may have been.
Here it is:
When God beholds my daughter’s laughing face,
I’m sure He says, “Although it took awhile
I’ve now created the most perfect smile
With which I could have blessed the human race.”
I’m sure He tells the angels, “Gather round!”
And bids them watch my daughter’s show of glee
So they, who’ve wept with man, can finally
Enjoy this child, in whom such joy is found.
Is this a simple mother’s blasphemy?
Or has a revelation come my way?
Sometimes, I really think I hear God say,
“Laugh with this child, for this child laughs with Me.”
They say the human visage looks like His,
But no one else reflects God’s joy like this.
If I remember it correctly, I submitted it to some poetry contest. I didn’t win, but I was offered the chance to spend hundreds of dollars for a copy of some book in which my poem had been published. At the time, I couldn’t have bought a comic book, so I don’t know if this has ever been printed, or if I’ve just gone and plagiarized myself.
I don’t care. I want everyone who reads this to know how I felt about my Amanda.