(I was proud to read this poem at my daughter’s wedding)

CHRISTINA, MY THUMBELINA

Grown from such a sweet small flower
Tiny toes, tiny fingers
Trapped in the hot light of an incubator
all three pounds fourteen ounces
of baby in your tiny hospital gown
so tiny and so frail

Christina, Christina
My little Thumbelina

Lying in your walnut shell cradle
Rocked by hands of hopeful love
the pain your tiny teardrops tore
into my heart and into yours

You were such a small newborn child
too soon from your mother’s womb
Too far from your father

But Christiana, Christina
you’ll always be my Thumbelina

Born from the earth
you unfurled like a flower
the stubborn seed still within you

You were such a stubborn one
You wandered with the wayward winds
Got captured by some demon toad
Who held you in his dungeon dark
Cold, weary, wanting more

After a summer of warm simple Sundays
when fall had drained their light to dusk
sultry winter made you bitter
and the ivy poisoned dew drops
suffocated your love torn leaves

 

II.
When I was young, I was weak
But when I was weak I rose up strong
Though I was never the invincible oak
That cracks the unforgiving stone

I Was Much the Same as You:

Endless streets I walked alone
Waiting for buses that never would arrive
Glimpsing mirages of the warm, the safe and the dry
those people born to live life large and free

So happy in their busy bustle, soaring
in their red painted sleighs and holiday hustle

Did you dream of your faithful prince —
with his dozen white roses,
Red lip-Stick kisses?

Still you knew those dreams were mere candy
for other children, the children of another promise
so wholly complete and winter worn.

My life has always seemed to me a partial ellipses’

 

III.
I wonder how many times you cried
how many times you died inside
who sent you into the winds of time
while the world was happy, doing fine.

The past is just a bubble now
Pursuing you, a relentless streaming dream
just one strained ticking of tensile time
we know giants existed then;
they fell upon us with their swords

 

IV.
So Christina, my Thumbelina
Lean forward and hold my arm

Together we will flee all those monsters
only the cold fog and darkness sees
we’ll put an end to all our despairs
all our miseries

And one day we will see our Lord
His wholly light, mystical mercies,
His wonderful worth

Look below us where his angels fly
a soft cushioned cloud to lift us up into
the ether as rear guard beings behind us fly
Flashing hope from angel’s eyes

 

Their solid swords stretched out to swing
and turn to dust all demon beings
at our Lord’s command.
He does all of this

For us.

 

V.
Christina, Christina,
My little Thumbelina

I saw you once, a pretty song
Faithful from your lips this song flew
No blue-bird, meadowlark or Robyn’s
Chirp rose higher or as true

Blessed, so blessed I was by you

I watched you put Christ’s words to memory
from some simple notes on a sheet
But then you switched to singing rock-n-roll
I had to watch that goodness go

 

VI.
Christina, Christina,
My little Thumbelina

Soul so long searching
for your flower fellowshipping prince

Our Lord lifts high the humbled weak
Un-drugs their mind from Satan’s sleep
He put you in my mother’s care
she shared with her a certain strength

The strength of God
I saw it in you

I saw the light of her brown eyes
Glow in yours, a holy blue
her smile found your fearful face
And while in His presence
you seemed whole again,
Romantic and renewed

Radically

 

I WONDER:

Did her strength stay in your soul
when darkness drug your body low?

Did her prayers struggle in the dust
help you repel the heavy “MUST”?

That foreboding LAW
that deigned to dam you to an early grave
Held you heavy in unhallowed ground
where whispers swore out, “grace is dead”!
And pushed you
with its heavy
Lead

Down?

 

VII.
Was it my mother’s persistent prayers
that bore up your soul, lifted you
From Earthly fears?
As your enemies taunted
you lay below them bathed in tears,
so tight and strained
you were subdued

Oh, you could never ever be
this bride that stands in front of me

 

VII.
Christina, Christina
My little darling Thumbelina

Now your light glows with such peace
Aurora borealis’ magnetic grace

Your parents’ prayers, uncles, aunts
Grandparents, all those people past
Who watched a tiny darling girl
Fistfuls of fingers, wiggling toes
And sent a word or two to Heaven

More words probably than you know

Now how bright with peace you shine
A hallowed hail of hope divine
As one Christina and Shawn will share
In a vast eternal fairy tale
Ethereal dream

We know not where our futures go
they spread like colors in a stream
they cannot be fully finally fathomed
But will always soon be seen

Like Shawn, who now holds your hand
your prince who bears your flowers now
He’s prayed for you to be found

And you’ve received a pair of wings
to fly with him to where Christians sing

 

VIII.
Maia, nurturer, Angel of Mercy:

Grab tight the wrists of all who need you now
Grip with all your stubborn might
go now, save all whom He sent you to save

Then together, Christina
you and Shawn will fly…

Your father,

Dad

16 thoughts on “CHRISTINA, MY THUMBELINA

  1. So heartfelt! I can quite understand this from a father’s perspective, although if I were to call my daughter (all of 18) the things I used to, in public today, she’d probably disappear into the depths of the earth with embarassment (and disown me!)

    Liked by 4 people

  2. What a marvelous outpouring of love … what anguish as you watched your preemie not knowing if she would survive, and now grown into a beautiful young woman in love and facing life separate from you, as is natural and expected. How precious this life was and is to you knowing how hard even her beginnings had been.

    Liked by 3 people

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