Lament For A Lost Child
For my mother:
a child who fell
into the arms of the Father
March 14, 1999
I heard one morning my little girl
sing in the shower; and seeming so
innocent of what this meant
she sang, “Lead me not
but deliver me into the good stuff… yes!
into the good
stuff!” So sweet to hear,
it hurt. Drying in the sun
her bright hair
shone like a halo,
a shadow of heaven
with purity so breathtaking
it pained my heart.
And I cried out,
to the one who would stumble her,
I looked for my grown-up girl on Capp Street
late one night; avoiding the vomit in the gutters.
I rejected invective and imprecatory prayer;
I remembered God’s promise to repay:
“Vengeance is mine,”– what comfort
to my beleaguered soul!
I never thought, when she too, used
to sing so sweet, that I could
so cherish justice, as I do now.
So I wouldn’t want to be you,
Mister Toy Boy
because you took her to that toy store
and made her captive to your will
with a strange fire burning in her veins.
So smug! You thought you stole
the smile from her Father’s
face. But there’s bad news for you:
He smiles at her– still!
So be careful little man, what you see–
A Jealous Lover follows you down that dark alley.
He has a millstone for your neck,
and a strong bared arm, and He is not smiling
He is filled with wrath..you will weep then,
as I do now. You will gnash your teeth, as I cry out
Woe, woe to you! And, what a wonder to me!
Toyboy– you were someone’s small son
once, too! And this mother–woe is me!
she weeps, she weeps…for whom?