Lullaby – by Jenny Joseph
Only when we are in each other’s arms
Babies or lovers or the very ill
Are we content not to reach over the side;
To lie still.
To stay in the time we’ve settled in, that we’ve
Like a gourd of its meat,
And not, like a sampling fly, as soon as landed
Start to our feet,
Pulling one box on another, Ossa on Pelion;
Getting the moment, only to strain away
And look each day for what each next day brings us:
Yet another day;
Pleased with the infant’s health and the strength of
For the child it will grow to,
The house perfected, ready and swept, for the new
Abode we go to,
The town in order and settled down for the night
The sooner for the next day to be over,
The affair pushed straight away to its limit, to leave
and notch up
Lie still, then, babies or lovers or the frail old who
In dreams we carry
Seeking a place of rest beyond the crowds
That claim and harry.
We are trying to reach that island for the festive
Where our love will stay –
Waylaid, prevented, we wake as that vivid country
Mists into day.
Stay on this side of the hill.
Sleep in my arms a bit longer.
This driving on will take you over the top
Beyond recall the sooner.