For My Son

The sky is gorged with snow. Our small room
smells of forest, perfumed
by anger and arms waving
like bird wings.
A tree rises from the floor, roots going
down into the apartment below. They
think it is a chandelier. We hear them curse
the night when they click and click
the switch. Your baby eyes are blue-black, mine
are black-and-blue. Your tiny hands flap like
moths when my hands
lay you under the tree boughs gently as placing
a word, naming time, calling moon. We two
watch the tree's unadorned silence and evolve
to marble, grit of ground lapis lazuli mixed with
oil, gold leaf, frankincense
and myrrh. Madonna and child, the old
thing again, over and over,
and roosting on the t.v. antennas, angels
singing like fools on your first Xmas Eve.

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Sojourners Magazine November-December 2001
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