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West Coast Baby Blueshift, a poem by Henry Ahrens

West Coast Baby Blueshift*
by Henry Ahrens

*blueshift: If an object moves closer, the light moves to the blue end of the spectrum, as its wavelengths get shorter.

for Natalie

Doppler shifts
push high-pitched waves to the west
higher than a baby's wail.

Shadows fall
longer than trees and wind blade towers,
little candlesticks standing straight
in winter's white cake,
Earth rolling from the sun,
swaddling clouds wrapping her tight.

Baby stirs
in the womb on the coast
ready to tip the balance of many
lives and loves.

Born this day
after a shift change at the hospital
far to the west of snow-covered fields
and long-shadowed airplanes,
light still streaming on the coast,
warming ocean breeze brushing waves
in mother’s hair.

Henry Ahrens attended St. Joseph's College in Rensselaer, Indiana, but now resides in Cincinnati, Ohio, where he teaches a variety of high school English classes. His works have appeared in From the Edge of the Prairie, Tipton Poetry Journal, and Indiana Voice Journal.