Spring 1951 • Vol. XIII No. 2 Poetry |

Mother and Child

The baby fastens to its mother's lap, A shining snow cap settled light and cold Upon its mountain. They love and they sink old As first connection; they lock with no gap. Not arrogantly linked as sea, earth, sky. But symmetry as cheery as a flower In looping petals out by puffs of power Bobbles the easy circle to an eye. They tuck to warm their love. The churring flesh Entwined rocks slattern in a world of chair That cradles gravely. They do not care Where warming bodies recklessly press. But—child will kick her, she will smack it prone; Their fire is laid, is lit to crackle. Then mobs of addled witches cackle, Lover and dead and Christ and jackal: O child, O mother—straddled and disowned.

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Helen Forman had poems published in the Kenyon Review, Partisan Review, and elsewhere. She was the daughter of founding Kenyon Review editor John Crowe Ransom.

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