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NURTURING JOSEPH
 

He comes to know who he is 
with the coos from his mother's lips. 
Out of the dark chaos within 
he gives her back his first small grin.

These are the fingers that hold 
a thumb tight. These are his toes 
and these his eyes, and this is his nose.

The words of a loving human 
are what, to him, is certain. 
They determine from outside 
who he is. They meet his stirring 
sensations and give them form.

He becomes aware of himself 
as something. He sits with his mother 
and holds his head up. He learns 
an old hand holding a bottle 
can almost be touched like a breast.

But from within himself, without 
some loving other, he could never 
dream that his value is a gift.

It's Mother's kisses that give him form. 
They tell him that these are his piggies, 
and he giggles delight, soft and warm, 
just to wiggle them back in return.
 
 

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