Mother to Child


BY OLIVIA MELDRUM

While I am mistress of my mind,

You will sleep safely every hour.

No morning will you wake to find

My warmth turned cold, or sweetness sour.

A fragile burden do I bear

(O precious visitor; flesh brand-new) -

I forget my face and clothes and hair

In pain and consciousness of you.

My little one, your mama hurts.

She shakes at every strange man's gaze.

You've joined the Dance - this you deserve;

But our dance, dear, limps through a maze.

I am not mistress of my heart;

It is a top spun by His hand.

He knits your limbs; He tears me apart.

I wonder at our Maker's plan.

If you could choose - if you could know -

Perhaps you'd free me; your own life take.

But you and I are not our own.

Such choices are not ours to make.

I shall be mistress of my mind

So long as air still fills my lungs.

This voice is feeble, but it is mine:

It will see that your song is sung.

Forsaken fruit, I'll hold your hand

(Though my night be long; my sunrise far).

When I can't remember who I am,

You'll remind me, child, of what you are.

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