Sometimes, when the earth prepares for rain, I think
of having a child. Like me
it shall not know, gathering life at another’s expense
as cloud from lake, how cells become matter,
how generously it lowers into being. On nights
when the weight of achievement
bears down on its furs and wires, the cord
like a ladder tucked away to keep
from tripping, it may recognise who
seeks behind grace, patient plougher
sifting a harvest of arteries. No prize on
earth will be equal to dust. Turning,
its soil is renewed, bone panelled like oak
and pliant walnut, seconds before birth
he holds it, in love’s toothed harrows, and runs.

by Jerrold Yam
from Scattered Vertebrae (2013)


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