Canticle for My Son
The dog barks and the cat mews,
The moon comes out in the sky,
The birds are mostly settled.
I envy your twelve hours
Of uninterrupted dreaming.
I take your small palms in mine
And don’t know what
To do with them. Beware, my son,
Of those old clear-headed women
Who never miss a funeral.
from Distance in Statute Miles (Clearing House, 1982), © Arvind Krishna Mehrotra 1982, used by permission of the author