Mara Naomi

– For Cecilia

You give the world your blood and after birth
You make it seem so easy, waiting out
A want of moments, soothed by minutes’ hate
For hours – if they would come as once they came,
A steady sixty coming all the same, all the same…

No tears but silence; no tears – they could wait –
It wasn’t death as possible but life
As probable, too definite to wait.
The doctor’s practice comfort, keep the faith
With science, moving mountains through the earth. Through the earth,

We hear with hope as love beholds her name:
So seconds run ahead of months, create
A space for meaning’s cry, and void the doubt
To birth a lamb’s delayed and sudden bleat:
Her first and signal heartbeat – bittersweet, bittersweet.

– July 18, 2007


  1. Angelico Nguyen, Esq., OP says

    One of the finest and most powerful poems — or stories — I have read in ages. And the wordplay does not break the spell, but strengthens it. So beautiful, so beautiful.

    Thank you for sharing this.

  2. Jonathan Potter says

    Powerful, thanks JOB. I’m not sure I’d have puzzled it all out without the mention of APGARs. I’m still not sure I’ve puzzled it all out, actually but … maybe that’s as should be with something as deeply personal as this seems to be.

    It also took me a moment to realize you pulled this out as a profound hyperlink to Lickona’s surfing without (and/or with) scapulars project and the Naomi/Mara mention there. A lesson in poetry.

  3. I wasn’t aimimng for obscurantism so much as chiaroscuro.

    I see it may still need some trussing of the tresses and dressing of the dross…


  4. I thought this was quite beautiful as well.

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