Maternity

By Roy Dean Doughty
Written 3/20/06, Ananda Loka 3, India

The dawn uncoils her peace with a silent,
A breathless ferocity, pouring streams of white
Down the igneous orchard rows, while she,
Lean, four-footed mother, stands patiently,
As her biting brood clamors beneath her.
Her pups know only their own convulsive hungers,
Their desires for food, for sex, their desire to give birth
To themselves, which she, as the milk-maker,
Gives first to one leaf, then another,
Then, in an orgy of uterine trembling,
As torch to driest tinder, she copiously feeds
Her whitest of white fires to all the children of the day.
The mountains stand sentinel to her tenderness,
As we, all fire ourselves, burn with the self-same ardor,
Living and dying our ten billion dramas
As if this divine conflagration were the most
Mundane of occurrences — which it is.
Now as the mother and child, the one fire in innumerable flames,
Fall sweetly down to ashes, the coil uncoiling,
The pups collapse into sleep,
And her ocean of flames becomes an ocean of honey.

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