5 am With My Little Emperor:
Just before the orange sunrays shatter the fragile night,
The first clacketty-clacketty tram rings its tiny bell:
With few but the driver on board the mechanical nightingale Merrily sings as it pulls on the strings of the rising sol.
The little emperor is held tight in my arms,
As we sway to the music chosen this early dawn:
A guide for my little emperor, pointing the way
Back into sleep after the day’s first feeding foray.
His fresh, miniature hands, tiny and perfectly fashioned,
Hold my knuckles, touching each one by one, as if he
Is seeking to learn the all but forgotten Ogham alphabet
From the secretive Druids who linger in my Celtic blood.
With dread, I wonder should I build him a garden,
Fill it with durable flowers and silken grasses,
Bind it with high walls and unfriendly purpose
And, in fear, create a gilt cage to safely contain him?
Standing, rocking, my little emperor finally asleep,
I remember two years to almost the exact day,
And almost the hour, sitting in the armchair, in the ward,
The trams’ bells singing and the miracle of Jack now born:
His sunlight body held in my arms for the first time; a weight Kept within my palace of cherished memories, (along with His smell and the first feel of his hair touching my face)
As insurance against his journey from here into the distance.