prayer for a newborn

i went out into the backyard. the full moon was almost directly overhead. in my right hand i held some cornmeal along with the small dried up piece of my son’s umbilical cord. i looked up directly at the moon. the night was cold. i could feel the chill of winter seeping through my pajamas. i blew three times a river of steam at the moon. then i turned to the small hole i had dug in the yard. i cleaned out the leaves that had blown into the hole and passed the cornmeal and the bit of our son into the bottom of the hole. then i filled in the hole with loose soil and patted the ground. i stood back up and looked at the moon again. i said a prayer for escué. i said a prayer for peace. i turned to all the directions and addressed the firmament and breathed out prayer upon prayer into the cold night sky. then i went back inside.

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