Up from the wild rose bush,
A mad shadow in the sun
Beating harder than our hearts—
The mothering thrush hovers,
Chits, chits and croaks out, hoarse,
Darts and darts down to fend off
From her nest deep in there,
Buried dark and fierce,

Us—stumbling back in our first shock
That a mother, and so small, would pierce
The quiet of our holding hands
And bending down to smell the blossoms,
Nothing more. Catching the sun, the shadow comes
At us, at us, helpless.

This article originally appeared in The New Criterion, Volume 6 Number 8, on page 46
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