That Light One Finds in Baby Pictures

1
Being born is a shame—

But it’s not so bad, as journeys go. It’s not the worst one
We will ever have to make. It’s almost noon

And the light now clouded in the courtyard is
Like that light one finds in baby pictures: old

And pale and hurt—

2
When all roads are low and lead to the same
Place, we call it Fate and tell ourselves how

We were born to make the journey. Who’s
To say we weren’t?

3
The clouded light has changed to rain.
The picture—. No, the baby’s blurry.

4
That’s me—, the child playing in the sand with a pail
And shovel; in the background, my mother’s shadow

Is crawling across a soot-blackened collapse of brick
And timber, what might have been a bathhouse once.

The tide is coming in—. Someone has written HELL
On its last standing wall.



Green Squall (excerpts from) won the Yale Series of Younger Poets Competition in 2005.

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