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For Erin

John Oughton
From:   Counting Out the Millennium. San Antonio, Texas: Pecan Grove Press, 1997.
Reprinted by permission of the publisher.


Small and new, you turn into me
as if you'd crawl inside where nothing hurts.
if I could open this man's body
I'd tuck you under my ribs
and warm you in the infra of my heart.

You whimper, awake, then instantly dream,
and forget the sharp things and cold lights and
hurts the world out here holds.
Forget the isolette that held you
a clear oven for your little loaf.
On your smile you slide back
To where you were always held
and cushioned and fed
and put your hands by your face again
the pose that made your birth take so long.

Maybe if you'd held them that way forever
you'd still be riding in the best ship there is
instead of this cold train
of emergency, test and therapy.
Crawl into me, small girl.
I'm holding my ribs up like an umbrella.



John Oughton's works copyright © to the author.


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