Upon the First Birth

David Passey

My woman is deep in the bush beans
so newly unblossomed from the fish
of our son that her bending is the measured
bend of the old, but still, her hands

are quick, harvesting the square
of garden we have carved from the straining
August field flowers that throw
their light and motion upon her shoulders.

This is not the girl who fished the crescent
moon, casting toward the mystery of trout,
speaking of the children in her blood, the bare
springing wheat of them, the hunger,

the ache: neither is she the waking bride
who spoke the slow stones of my name
in the pale October dawn of our first night
with autumn crackling at the window

like a fire; nor is she the woman learning
the tides to violence, her guts gripping
the boy—the girl come to give the great
two-fisted cost of pain in letting life slip

down from between her legs. She has carved her
square, a girl in the garden, netted in field flowers,
and summer blonde in light, not of the heavy
August sun, but of herself, in brilliance.

David Passey is an English major and presently lives in Highland. We know nothing about him except that his phone has been disconnected. We assume it's because he is a poet.