Happy birthday, Madeleine.

People don’t believe me, but there was a pop
No kidding, like a champagne cork
And suddenly burst forth baby.
Two words—paradigm shift.
And I lashed myself forty times for every impure thing I’ve ever done
For every hateful word I’ve ever spoke
And for every time I said “I don’t want children.”

We made you—and then you made me.
Four years later, I am not who I was.
I’m better. And I owe that to you.
Today may be your birthday, but you will always be my gift.

(adapted from a long, too-deep-and-metaphorical spoken word poem entitled “Building Madeleine”)