The odds of anyone being born are one
in four hundred trillion

For me it was a long shot, maybe even
more than that

The child of “older” parents with two
half grown children

Just when things were going OK…

That uncertain conversation over dinner


I was born in a ’57 Chevy Ambulance

Smack dab in the middle of the day

From the school playground a block away
my sisters heard the siren coming closer,
and watched the single rotating red light
come to a stop at our house


I arrived two months early

Weighing in at a little less than four pounds

 In 1959 the odds were against “premie” babies.
Even more so in out-of-the-way small towns
with less than visionary care.

Mom was a nurse, and the doctor was her colleague

Together, they knew my odds better than anyone

After he examined me, he said “don’t even bother
naming him Helen, he won’t live the night…”

He was a cruel motherfucker

If I could remember his name I would visit his grave,
do a dance, then relieve myself of this lifelong grudge
on his head stone

Maybe that’s the best revenge, that I don’t even
remember his stupid fucking name

In spite of him, live through the night I did

And against the odds, I grew

Seven weeks in an incubator, the warmth and
oxygen acting as a sterile substitute for the womb

The photos look like I was being kept in a microwave

Or a fish tank

Or a terrarium

It was very effective for saving my life, but except
for feeding times, nobody could hold me

Or sing me a song, or pat my skinny butt and whisper
“It’s gonna be OK kid” in my ear

It provided the necessary time for my lungs to grow
enough to function on their own

To nourish my heart and feed my muscles and
get all my vital signs in the zone so I could finally
go home

Where I would stand…


My father was afraid to hold me

So, I thought distance was “normal”

Alone has always felt like home

I recently found out that some called me
“The Accident” behind their hands

I was the “surprise guest” that they had
to “make room” for

The kid that nobody knew what to do with

That’s tough soil for a boy to grow in

That’s tough soil to live your life in

Until today when I realized just how wrong
my view of all this has been

I’m not less than

I’m greater than

I was created to be a warrior

One who arrived early and survived against
some pretty long odds

Who found ways to thrive and become strong

Ways to prosper and to help others do the same

It’s time that I acknowledge, no matter how
uncomfortable it makes me

That I'm worthy of being loved

 By me