Mother and Child, Body and Soul

Child
You've boarded me over like a window or a well.

Mother
It was autumn
I couldn't hear the students
only the music coming in the window,
Se tu m’ami
If you love me

I went for a week's journey in soft ermine.
Darling, the ovals of your hair ...
autumn leaves,
your hair the hue of rain-drenched bark, your voice:

Don't ever leave me ...

And this child, this
window in my side,
boarded over all my life,
—how can I take the boards off, in this wind?
I will break if I bend ...
Jean Valentine, “Mother and Child, Body and Soul” from Door in the Mountain: New and Collected Poems, 1965-2003. Copyright © 2004 by Jean Valentine. Reprinted with the permission of Wesleyan University Press.
Source: Door in the Mountain: New and Collected Poems 1965-2003 (Wesleyan University Press, 2004)
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