To Rachael Ann

Premature birth prompts an early return

From the coconut coasts of an eastern land

Where faith wanes, and despair is easily born

As conflict and hatred overtake

The hope for love.


Illness means a rapid departure

From the spring-flowered slopes of an Alpine retreat

Where hope is about to be reborn out of rest and renewal,

Reforming faith

Kindled by love.


Racing through the storms of a turbulent flight

The struggle for life is covered by a myriad prayers

Of those who care with hope

Which prompts a simple faith expressed

In tokens of love.


Born early, but in time for a second birth

In spite of the greatest weakness to focus

The rebirth of faith, the rebirth of hope, the rebirth of love

Restored, renewed,

Recreated for us.


Anxiety and fretting cannot displace faith;

Pain and uncertainty must not kill hope;

Distance and longing will not destroy love.

A family will be renewed

In your rebirth.


And that eastern land and we must learn

That our own renewal comes

In the turmoil of anxiety's pain

And the simplicity

Of a child's weakness.


27 June 2001