Babe in Arms


I watched you yesterday--
       You didn't know that I was watching.
I saw you stand there in the park:
Wriggling child safe in your sure embrace
While his pretty, harassed mother
Ransacked the depths of his blue pram.
       Your head was bowed,
Unruly curls tickling the infant's stomach:
His crows of delight and snatching at your hair
Sending you into fits of helpless laughter.
       It looked so right,
       You were so happy--
Oh Jesus, Ray, it hurts!
What has our love denied you?
Do you regret the choice we made one night?

I watched you watch me yesterday--
       You didn't know that I was watching.
I saw you turn and walk away:
Kicking inoffensive tufts of fresh, spring grass
While the misery your face revealed
Tore the very heart from me.
       Today you stand
M-16 automatic cradled to your breast:
Savage warrior, dauntless hero, khaki-garbed child
Bound to play a deadly game with deadly foes.
       You run such risks--
       If I should lose you--
Ah, Bodie, don't you know
You're everything my life requires?
The only babe in arms I want is you.

-- THE END --

Originally published in Poems, Prayers & Promises, Darien Duck & Phoebe Entwhistle, 1986

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