Tuesday, February 23, 2010

For Nathan on his birthday - with close attention to meter


In some dark place,
perhaps beneath the ground,
a hammer thuds
its jarring discord clash

the sound, of work
harsh metal-metal smash,
a livelihood;
days pass beneath the ground.

Iron in fire
sparks hot, and red, then gold.
Now you are big,
now you are strong

gold light,
I wish you well.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

This one was a prayer for my sister

15 New Bethlehem Street

Eldest son
When you were a boy,
little but getting bigger each day,
Did you watch as your siblings vomited,
sweated, struggled to breathe;
as your mother cowered beneath their blanket screams,
wept from within insomniac night-nets strewn together –
their mucous, urine, sour milk;
as she gasped against airless, pillow stuffing frailty
filling her lungs, trying to call for

your mother
now that you’re grown.
Did you heal sick children, then?
Would you please, hold the baby, now?