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Diane L. Tucker

About this Christian Poet:
I was born in 1965, grew up in Southeast Vancouver, got a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from UBC in 1987, got married, had a a daughter in 1990 and a son in 1993, had my first book published in 1996 (God on His Haunches, Nightwood Editions), then wrote a novel and another book of poems, both of which are as yet unpublished. I sing in my church choir, serve on the executive of the Burnaby Writers' Society, and have walked the family dog, Doxa, approximately two thousand times.

3 a.m.
(for my mum and dad)

out of the night I came, all in black
dressed already like a thief
daring to interrupt their life once more
when I needed them, when their home
was the one within reach

so about 3 a.m. I knocked
on the translucent window next to the door
knocked gingerly, bobbing on my freezing toes
knowing the dog would wake them
which she did, her tan patches appearing
in the window as she howled
between barks I held my breath

until a white flame appeared
dad's fist on the other side of the window
rearing up, slamming back at me
two angry thumps, the glass
quivering like a shout
for of course I am thief, intruder
with no right on this doorstep

I swallow, gasp out "It's me"
the words hang in black air

the flame in the window dies
dad calls my name
the door opens
in the hall the dog dances around me
immediately the door is shut behind me
locked against three oíclock in the morning

in bed then, window light glowing
on what I now feel instinctively
is the wrong side of the room
my sleep-deprived, caved-in heart
finally grasps it:

the silence between my declaration and his cry
when he was deciding whether or not to open the door
that silence held my whole life in a single puff of breath
held in it my first declaration
first flailing entrance into homeless night
as I came into the world unplanned
and lay screaming in a sort of cosmic three a.m.
a lightless, breastless emptiness
as birth attendants receded, leaving me exposed
on the hillside of my own brazenness

outside every door I am thief, miscreant
my very existence an intrusion
on the rightful business of the world

and still they take me in, every time
let me cross their threshold
adopt me again and again
forgive my outcast state and call me daughter.

Copyright©2002 by Diane L. Tucker