Monday, November 7, 2011
What Comes Through, Must Go Out
My wife's body opened
and I watched my son come through
into the world. He was blue.
You could say the universe was rent by this birth.
And my heart crying, my wife crying, my son crying
was blood crying as the stars adjusted themselves
to what was new: a person, come into being.
I told him a story
to welcome him to this earth. He lay,
as you would to water running away.
And I trembled
to hold flesh of my own in my hands.
What a father wants, in time,
is to die before his son.
I held the flesh of his hand in my own -
this, my father's hand. Dying, not conscious
to us, bone-bag now, his laboured breathing
was not loud, but wheezing in the quiet room.
Then he turned, on his right side, and pushed
those three last breaths out. An act of will?
Or God, sucking the spirit from him? Such silence
I've never known: the whole of night a witness.
In the lingering aftermath, the long pause
of the world, something left. We felt it.
And I knew, again, the opening of the universe:
in birth we come through, in death we go out.
My son now, on the cusp of marrying, wants children of his own.
9 September 2011