Poetry month #8: Genesis

I wrote this for this elder son of the flesh in September of 2005.

They say, these parenting manuals, to help
your newborn learn the difference between
day and night
keep the lights low,
do not speak or make eye contact,
feed and then soothe,
so the child will learn to sleep.

What power this is, my son, to decide for you
what is the night and what is the day.

I know my responsibilities: I would not have you
Saddled with sleep-addled parents,
Nor would I wish to put you at odds with
This schoolbell world: black marks if you are late
Or absent.

And yet I love the eclipse:
The sky, so cold and blue in day
Opens to reveal how large it is, this universe.
The rousing of senses
When sight is dulled: scent, touch, sound.
The shiver of intuition along the spine.

I have been your midnight.
Not only the belly that housed you
But the lust that made you:
Sexual, demanding, arrogant.
Grasping for immortality,
The expanse of time beyond my
Short day.

I teach you now to sleep through
These hours.
I capitulate to the role of light.
But now and then I may wake you
To show you the stars

A little preview before that woman,
Whoever she may be,
Draws you again into her dark.

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About Jenn

Find me on Twitter @JennGruden
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