On Mother's Day

On Mother's Day, a rose in hand was laid 
For her whose years were fewer but by one 
Than all the fingers round the rose that played. 
At once she saw not rose but reed, and sun; 
And water at her feet and water on 
The cheeks of one whose arms let go a form, 
Which, patched with pitch and weave, did hold her son, 
Whose breath and arms still moved with skin still warm. 
The mother hid and could not look, but fled. 
The girl stood by and saw another hand 
Outreach to calm the crying boy. She said, 
"His nurse I'll find if he returns to land." 
Among the reeds moved impulse womanly. 
There was not only one mother, but three.

- R Hall

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