Advice to a Pregnant Daughter-in-Law

by Charles Darling

Avoid sharp things like corners, scissor points,
words and blades and cheddar cheese. Eschew
whatever's heavy, fast, and cumbersome:

meteorites, rumbly truck and stinky bus,
hockey players, falling vaults, and buffalo.
Steer clear of headlines, bank advices,

legal language, papal bulls, and grocery ads.
Every morning, listen to baroque divertimenti,
romantic operas, Hildegarde von Bingen hymns.

Evenings, read some lines from Shakespeare's comedies;
do a page of algebra; study shapes of clouds
and alchemy; make fun of your husbands feet.

Practice listening like a doe at the edge
of the earth's deep woods, but learn to disregard
most everything you hear (especially your father

and father-in-law). Learn some Indian lullabies;
speak with magic stones beneath your tongue.
Finally, I wish, avoid all tears—except

that the world and time will have their way
and weep we must. Perhaps enough is said
of grief and happiness to realize

that any child of yours will live a lifetime
utterly beguiled (as my child is)
by your bright smile, your wild and Irish laugh.

please note: I think photo is a scene from a film about Grace O'Malley, Irish pirate


  1. THis was interesting. I've always maintained that at certain times of life, bubble wrap would come in handy.

  2. Oh, to have had such advice when I was pregnant! Have you read "Grania" by Morgan Llywelyn? It's a great novel about Grace O'Malley.

  3. oh, that is so beautiful - I forwarded it to my daughter who gave birth to my first beautiful grandchild 3 weeks ago today! Thank you for sharing it!

  4. Hm. This is funny, but not FUNNY. Just sort of odd, like an older relative might be...eccentric, perhaps?

    I adore it.

  5. lovely.. well written! i enjoyed myself reading it!


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