Today's poem is by Changxin Fang


Little baby, you lay your head
against my breast, heavy
like a sack of rice, head round
and fragile as an eggshell. Wrapped
in your down blanket, you are
as unmiraculous as bread dough,
a lump with pudgy appendages.
I am used to books, nothing that demands
this much tenderness,
this stiffening of the arms and legs
to mold my body to yours.

I am no mother, I have no milk
or lullabies to give you.
At least the lovers talk to me,
but you, who lie so still
as to be hardly alive,
can exact no less a sacrifice
than a mother's whole life.
What are you except
a dumb star,
a nation in which the rebels
are beginning to rise?

Copyright © 2008 Changxin Fang All rights reserved
from Runes
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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