Names Of Children

By Rachel Sherwood

In early morning when the sun
is vague and birds are furious
names of children float
like smoke through the empty room:
Ariadne, dark as seal skin
Ian, fair-skinned baby
Marina   Terrence   Alex   John
 
after dinner   pulled back from
talk of war and morals
their names glow like light
around a candle —
Jack, my rampant youngest son
Celia, my daughter who sings
 
but no children call from other rooms
no soft faces turn to kiss
each guest goodnight
or whisper that stars are a giant’s eyes
there is only the slow still wait
through the opaque night
for morning and more names.

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