At the Washing of My Son - Poem by David Ray
I ran up and grabbed your arm, the way a man
On the battlefield would recognize a long-lost comrade.
You were still wrinkled, and had a hidden face,
Like a hedgehog or a mouse, and you crouched in
The black elbows of a Negro nurse. You were
Covered with your mother's blood, and I saw
That navel where you and I were joined to her.
I stood by the glass and watched you squeal.
Just twice in a man's life there's this
Scrubbing off of blood. And this holy
Rite that Mother Superior in her white starched hat
Was going to deny me. But I stood my ground.
And then went in where for the first time you felt
Your mother's face, and her open blouse.
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David Ray's Other Poems
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The Road Not Taken
If You Forget Me
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Do Not Stand At My Grave And Weep
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I Do Not Love You Except Because I Love You