Loitering on the bridge before the Forbidden City,
in the lax light of a bloodless Tiananmen December,
a sudden bundle thrust into my arms; nine pounds
of TNT and an alarm clock? No, a swaddled child
of serene countenance. That innocent and I traded
smiles as his parents waved a dramatic camera.
In that country, where once I had a baby pressed
upon me in the street, many adults had embraced me
for a portrait to please the folks back home; that day
I was struck on that bridge by more than amusement;
by a grip of responsibility; by unforeseen fatherhood.
Keith Welch lives in Bloomington, Indiana, where he works at the IU Herman B Wells library. He has poems published in various small journals, both online and in print. He is (like so many others) a 2017 Pushcart Prize nominee. He enjoys conversing with other poets, and invites you to follow him on Twitter @Outraged-Poet.