You spoke, after long years, about the morning
That followed the night your first-born son was born:
The dead of winter, the wartime emergency hospital
Bare, spare, necessitous, institutional,
Quick voices, hurrying feet, then seas of silence,
Snow building, building against the window pane,
You under a blanket, bathed in ecstasy.

This only: he who was to come had come –
No other thing, on earth or out of time.
Beyond the pane, the winter world at war
Endless and dark, where you must lay your child;
Within, no one of all your dearest few,
Belonging cheek or voice, to share your light,
Seas, continents away – all this, yet all
Caught upward in your solar storm of bliss
For joy a man was born into the world.

You spoke, reliving that release of light
That sank so soon to darkness, pain, and death.
I groped, questioned, astray, not comprehending,
Asking in vain, with words of another world.
You turned away, for you could tell no more

Oh let the taloned mind let go its quarry
And let the proud mind fall with Lucifer
Because it is another kind of dimension
And the leap forward is kneeling in one place
And the answer is given silently to no question
And they who ask, in anger or pain of spirit,
Why ever a dead planet was torn to life
Come if they will to mother and child – for she
Because she is the ark of the covenant
Can neither tell nor know a need to tell.

Richard’s choice

Poems of Love