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Dawn on the Fall Equinox

January 12, 2005

The shifting light of autumn
Has caused an uneasiness.
This morning, I lay beside
My son, listening to his breathing,
Finding comfort in the soft bulbs
Of his hands, opening
Like poppies at first contact with sunlight.

What those other boys
In that place where we've unleashed
War, are thinking, I cannot say.
Theirs is a life punctuated by
The ratta-tatt-tatt of bullets,
The mud-green of uniforms,
And corpses of bombed out cars.
Waking at dim first light,
Cannot be like this. Soft and sweet,

The certainty of their mother's
Breath against neck and hair.
In this dream-state here,
I can only think of dressing,
Feeding him, caressing his smallness.

I don't like this early darkness,
The falling leaves, the raking,
That once provided me a kind of order
Reminds me of death
Somewhere else.

How will I explain this to him?
In these hummed hours
Before he speaks my name,
I pretend to have a truth
That turns the darkness into light.

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Persis Karim


Book of the day

Borrowed Ware
Medieval Persian Epigrams
Translated by Dick Davis

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