may twenty-third

Grey room

begins to glow. 

Among the dust

specks of light 

hitch a ride.

Following orders:

seeking darkness

to uncover.

Chain breaks. 

Mom awakes.

A tiny fist

grips the delicate gold necklace.

Confusion bubbles up

Drowsiness clouds in 

A million puzzle pieces scattered 

Where has she been?

Presently, the glow alights

along the spine 

of a brand new babe

curled up tight

there on her chest.

How could she

have missed

the arrival of this gift?

Above her bed 

in the sunrise glow 

a whiteboard stares back.

Scribbled notes

written in black – 

she reads the stats:

“It’s a girl!”

Date of birth: the twenty-third

Her first breath at two am.

Her weight, just over 8

Mom adjusts in the bed.

Pain erupts.

Flows like lava 

searing through 

a deep incision still so fresh. 

She winces at the pain,

cradles the baby on her chest.

Then she sees

the man she loves.

Finally, he rests.

Clouds lift.

Fog sifts.

Clarity peeks through.

While she was sleeping

he was busy being

all the things

she could not be.

Making up lost time,

she snuggles her baby close –

inspects ten fingers,

ten toes,

soft baby skin

and a sweet baby nose.

Specks of light 

continue their dance

around the room.

They float and spin and prance.

Gathering, growing – 

transforming the gloom.

Now brightness abounds.

Recollections of that day 

still roll in for her

as waves on a quiet shore.

They are small, they are slight…

They are brilliant specks of light.

When they show up,

She captures them,

Tucks them safely in her heart

Like a firefly placed in a jar.

Inside they fly

They glow

They flicker

They help her to remember.

My sweet Elowyn turns 4 today.

In a crazy twist of medical weirdness, I missed her birth. As in, I was completely knocked out when she was brought earthside by an emergency C-section. I wrote all about it here, but that’s the gist of it. I first met my daughter hours after her birth, in the quiet of our hospital room as the morning sun filtered in when I was awakened by the snapping of my necklace in her small fist. I can talk about it now without sobbing, and I can even joke about it sometimes. But I genuinely hope that one day in heaven I’ll get to see a sort of replay of her arrival. And until then, I’ll hang on to my small jar of memories that I do have from that day.

I first began this poem back in March of 2022. I must have been thinking back on the events around her birth without even really realizing it, because I woke up in the middle of the night with the beginning of this poem already formed in my head. I tapped the first few lines into my phone’s notes app to revisit the next morning, and it was one of those rare instances where almost this entire piece flowed out of me in one sitting. This poem has sat patiently in my document drafts for over a year now, but as Elowyn’s birthday approached, I decided it was finally time to polish it up a bit and share it.

Happiest birthday, my beautiful baby girl. I am so honored to be your mom.

Summer legs

Every summer, this same prayer

Dear God, let me never forget 

these little summer legs and

the stories that they tell. 

In my scrapbook of skinned knees and such, you’d find…

his Batman bandaid from two days ago that celebrates the training wheels coming off; 

shin bruises as trophies for the handstand and cartwheel attempts; 

dirt splotches on her knees bookmarking the discovery of her latest worm friend. (“He’s beeaauitful!” she tells me, with sparkles in her eyes);

the pine cone nicks on all of their heels in remembrance of playing “What’s the Time, Ms. Wolf?” at dusk…IYKYK;

the scratches on her ankles signaling the daily barefoot scooter races;

pasty sidewalk chalk patches that tie dye their hands and knees and clothes: an ode to coloring in the rain puddles;

elbow and knee rashes hard-won from hours of pretend pirate play on the floating mat in the lake; 

the splinter from the dock that hitched a ride as she reeled in her biggest catch that day. (Worth it.);

the constellation of mosquito bites scattered knee to toe: a snapshot of the night we stayed up past their bedtime to hunt the backyard fireflies…

all found among the glow of their skin that speaks of a life well-lived outside in His good Creation.

Here’s to letting them wander knee-deep in the depths of childhood, living the dream of running wild and running free in the playground of Creation. Bruises, scrapes, bites, and all.

Oh if these little summer legs could talk, what childhood adventures would they speak of? 

Oh, hi, it’s me! I haven’t hit publish on a blog post here since January 2021. Thanks for reading this one today! This blog page you’re currently on is where I will continue to share my creative writing pieces and essays. In addition, I now have a newsletter that I send out about once or twice a quarter. My newsletter, Radiant, is where I share encouragement, beautiful things, favorite things, prayers, as well as current life happenings and musings. I’d love it if you’d subscribe! Talk soon, friends.

Motherhood is not a shiny thing

Motherhood is not a shiny thing. 
You don’t bring her home 
to hang on the wall,
Dust your hands off with pride 
and walk away satisfied. 

Or place her on a shelf
for admiration alone.
That’s not how this goes.

Mothers aren’t born,
Like they like to say.
They’re unearthed
Mined from the depths
Refined and
Chiseled away
They are utterly excavated,
I guess you could say.

is not gradual,
it’s not gentle.
The process is not pretty.
She’s thrust on to you, really.

Dents and dings
will accumulate.
She’ll become worn from use.
Her luster depreciates
quicker than you assumed.

She’ll feel heavy,
too heavy
some days.
Like your grip

But, know this:
you can’t lose her
drop her
or break her,

She’s resilient.
She’s brilliant.
but gracious.

With time
she changes,
takes on a new hue

Where she used to gleam,
a deep patina shines through.
There’s more to her
and more to you.

Every mark on her tells a story.
This is her testimony.

Unashamed she wears them –
Beauty from ashes.

Let it be so
Not a shiny thing, no
Something more valuable;
More tender, more pure

Can you see it?
her true radiance
no longer concealed
like the Velveteen Rabbit —
now she is real.

All professional photos on this site are (c) D. Crowe Photography