Mark R. Elias

The Weight of a Child in Your Arms

Cradling one while young dreams fill their head,
Old lullabies drawing a smile.
Carrying one freshly punctured with lead
Mile upon unending mile.

Bundling one in a towel topped with foam,
Hot water cascading through toes.
Recovering one from the rubble of home
To show the world what a war does.

Air-lifting one over tall summer grass,
A craning fern brushing their cheek.
Breast-feeding one till the drought comes to pass
Week upon merciless week.

Consoling one through the stun of a fall,
Stemming trickles of tears and blood.
Rescuing one from what's left of a wall,
Denying the wrath of a flood.

Comforting one over-tired and sour,
Cruel party games ousting the host.
Enveloping one with all wing in your power
To shield against martyrdom's ghost.

Remembering why it's essential to feel
The ache from your shoulders to palms;
Remembering why it's essential to feel
The weight of a child in your arms.

Submitted: Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Topic(s): children

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