A Birth

Amanda Glass

I. Nocturne (sostenuto)
This time the dance starts slowly. For two days
the music sounds elusive and remote.
No need to rush to meet it, it will come,
and when it comes, I pray I stay afloat.

Now with the dark moves music, like a tide;
the rhythm rises, surging like a gale.
To fight it would be folly, I must dance
or sink—surrender is the saving sail.
In dark I dance with you, my hidden one.
In dark I sway and dip and rise again.
In dark I ride great growing waves that grip
my flesh and skirt the boundaries of pain.
My darling, this dance is our partner now;
it found me without fail, as it found you.
Dance with me, dearest, let us hope that dawn
brings silence and a blessed pas de deux.

II. Crisis (sforzando)
O God! I am rent once more—
a shell to be shattered,
cocoon to be crushed,
but none of this self-death mattered
before—I do not grudge it now,
for each time, like these pale
sweet sons, I am born anew—
but O God! I am in my travail.

III. Benedictus (dolce)
Outside our bedroom window, crickets stilled,
	minstrels who trilled
a low-voiced God-sent song throughout the night.
The women tending to me, kind and wise,
	gave soft replies
to calm me when the throes had reached their height.
Creation held its breath before the dawn
	and you had won
through darkness to the light; the veil was torn.
Your mouth took quick possession of my breast,
	your eyes the rest,
small scion of a quiet Sunday morn.

Amanda Glass is a fulltime wife and mother of three boys in the mountains of western Maryland.