Sunday, September 11, 2011

I still think it is a fish (Birth Announcement)

A note to my daughter on the day of her birth
Today into this world you’ve come,
And 'ere I’m lost to age and rum,
I’m writing you from where you’re from
To describe your patrimony.

Humanity, you’ll find, can vary.
A man can be both bald and hairy,
Handsome, homely, kind and scary.
Clumsy, sneaky, fair and phony.

When first you meet that creepy guy
Who watches but can’t meet your eye
Remember dad was pretty shy
And try to cool your shiver.

And when a madman first you see
Consider your own family tree
Where twigs the lunistocracy
Like a willow by the river.

It won’t be long that you’re around,
I bet, before you hear the sound
As tongue and knuckle drag the ground
‘Neath morons such as call your father kin.

And tricksters, too, you’ll find soon,
May stalk beneath a hunter’s moon
And howl a false compelling tune.
Wolves no more than we are born to sin.

From where you start to where you’ll get,
Want to wonder, doubt to fret
To dream to doom to guess to bet,
We walk behind you and look ahead.

Be the girl I’m teaching you to be,
And who that is, we’ll wait to see.
To be yourself is to be free
In the jailhouse, jungle or your bed.

If you wander far, and I hope you will
Let each disaster be a thrill
And let no wisdom wear your will
Like your old man in his prime.

You’ll meet some fools, the weak and damned-
Offer each your sweet right hand
And see they know to call you "Ma'am."
To be aught but sister wastes your time.

"We have named it Cain. She caught it while I was up country trapping on the North Shore of the Erie; caught it in the timber a couple of miles from our dug-out -- or it might have been four, she isn't certain which. It resembles us in some ways, and may be a relation. That is what she thinks, but this is an error, in my judgment. The difference in size warrants the conclusion that it is a different and new kind of animal -- a fish, perhaps, though when I put it in the water to see, it sank, and she plunged in and snatched it out before there was opportunity for the experiment to determine the matter. I still think it is a fish"
from Extracts from Adam's Diary, by Mark Twain

Our daughter was born today, September 11 at 9:34 local time.  If I did the conversions right she is 7 pounds 8 ounces, 20 inches long, pretty as a peach and about that fuzzy.