Echoe, by John Ciardi

Jody Gomez

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Mother and father knew God and were glad to explain.

I was happy to listen. Love is a conversation.

When I said yes, they agreed, and I agreed.

They touched me when they said. I understood

the touch before the words. There is nothing to argue

in being held closest. Had God been a lion,

I would have done my best to grow a mane,

and to catch lambs to leave dead on His doorstep.

I could catch nothing. I was left to believe.

Love echoes love. I said what I was told

for my pleasure in who told it, for my need

to be held in the telling, apart from true and false.

The conversation is over. Given a choice

between Dante and a stone over two graves,

what shall I read? I have no mother and father.

They have no God unless I remember one

as part of a conversation I forget

except that it pleased me to be touched in the telling.

I read this poem, and it struck me with how true it is with children that "love echoes love." I hear my 5-year old son all the time echoing things I have said, even when he does not have a full grasp upon them. The other day he told someone that, "god did not make the universe, quarks did"!!

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