For My Wife

I saw you descending
On the night she was born
to the place you had feared
where I could not follow.

You squeezed my hand, and passed
Arcing like a diver
To that old house of blood
And darkness, where she slept.

I heard you scream her name
And pound your fists against
The doors of silence shut
between our world and hers.

I heard you storm the walls
For a night and day
When still the gates were shut
They spread a table there,

Your worst fears before you:
The needle in the spine
The mixture in the vein
The knife across the womb.

It was the second night,
When I saw you choosing
The needle and the knife
Her self above your own.

When I am bent and old
And she is strong and tall
We will remember it
How you rose up, roaring,

and won our daughter home.


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