The Dream of Love

Mother’s cheek against my own
Was silken as the early touch of morning;
Like heady spikes of light
Splintered in the prism lamp,
The melody she hummed
Spun in dizzy splendor
Round the golden thread
Of arms that safe encompassed me.
Upon her lap my urgent hurts
And awkward strivings seemed to melt,
Untangled in her tender, knowing eyes.
Such was the mother I ever longed for,
Ever missed.
Mine, bereft of gospel truth,
Embittered by the barter
Of her lifeblood spent
For our shoes and bread,
Bequeathed instead
Her icy self-reliance;
Too late I knew the worth of her
Hard, unflinching love—
Practical gifts of work and sustenance,
Silent hours of groping worry,
Ringing absences of soft and lovely things
Her breeding almost taught her how
To do without.
Now, as tiny arms enfold me,
As bright eyes see and pattern all I do,
My soul trembles as I shape
The legacy that I shall leave.
I kneel to Him who fills the darkest void,
That I may give the tools of life,
And too, against the storm,
The dream of love.