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It’s Too Soon To Tell

by Barbara, on her porch in Boothbay Harbor, looking at the majestic windjammers and waiting for fireworks later

I rarely, rarely write poetry, but I recently came across this poem I wrote in a writing class in 2007. The writing prompt was, “Finish the phrase, ‘It’s too soon to tell.'” I wrote it before the thought of grandchildren had even occurred to me. (Or to either of my kids, thank goodness.) Anyway, it tickled me and I decided to share it.

It’s Too Soon To Tell

It’s too soon to tell
Will he have his mother’s fine skin,
His father’s auburn hair,
His Uncle Charlie’s protuberant ears?

It’s too soon to tell
Will he have his grandmother’s gift for music,
His grandfather’s way with words,
Cousin Violet’s wonderful laugh?

Will he run races like his Uncle Pearce?
Build great cities like his Cousin Neville?
Or write software like Rita’s daughter Lil?

It’s too soon to tell
Will he have Aunt Clea’s love of the bottle,
Uncle Henry’s black depressions,
Cousin Mortimer’s passion for unsuitable women,
Or Cousin Jasper’s for unsuitable men?

Will he know great love?
Will he go to war?
Will he know want, or will his pockets always be full?

This much we do know
He smells like heaven
His smile lights up the sky
His cry breaks your heart
And he holds each of us in the palm of his hand

Because we can’t wait to discover
The oh, so many things
It’s just too soon to tell

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