Allegorical Holiday

I wrote this poem about 35 years ago, soon after the birth of my son... seems to have some Christmas resonance (& maybe Hanukkah & Eid as well).


Only just arrived from the Milky Way
and still dwelling in the mountains,
the soft hills of the small planet
of your mother – you can relax,
your cradle snug in the branches;
all around you vague motions,
sounds of mingling birds or people;
over your head a bright mobile, swaying
and glittering like a sailing ship.

Only just lifted from the river,
still rocking with the evening ripples,
at that quiet hour when the earth
settles down to dream – who are you?
An echo of some voice, a reflection
at the water’s edge, in Egypt,
in the wilderness, in the Milky Way –
your little boat bumping the shoreline,
floating to the ocean sound asleep.

Only just delivered from your absence,
lifted from the mineshaft, from empty space;
only now beginning to awaken, to remember
all these familiar rhythms; just lifted
from the water and now lifted and held
aloft in your father’s arms – still
almost weightless, but gaining momentum,
little planet, little sun, coming down
to bear the full weight of the earth.

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