The unsettled trees seem to share
My tensions of body and mind:
Unable to move before the shell of the wind,
Yielding as much as their nature allows,
They will break if pushed too far,
Splinter to show the white flesh of their wood
And sweet transparencies of sap.
If 1 am pushed too far I will show
The world our wounds, our nine months’ child
In his robe of flesh and my wife’s tired eyes;
We cannot sleep, alone or together, in case we conceive
Another like this, tearing us from the shell of our senses,
Bending our minds from their roots with his
Eighteen hour shifts of need.
For nine months we have worked through days
And nights; in the nine before his coming
When once you fell I felt his body scramble
In terror round the waters of your womb;
Only the placental coil stopping the leak
From life of his precious blood.