anneal: to toughen, strengthen, or temper; in metallurgy: a process of first heating and then cooling in order to render a material less brittle; in physics: to cause a change in molecular structure by rearrangement of atoms; in biology: a process of heating then cooling DNA in order to separate the strands and induce combination at a lower temperature.
Like any newborn, he arrived soft and umbilicated,
lathered with vernix and swathed in lanugo. We
sobbed at separations. For years he resembled
an inkspot running in all directions, ripening
without my annealing impress. Today he wears
a diadem that obscures remnants of the fontanel
I bathed with such care. He was my son and yet.
Life pressed. I can barely track his whereabouts.
Did I let him go too easily? It was a tough day.
Anyone who’s been there will agree.