The Song

The woman wandered through the trees with thoughts
of her new child, the one she now conceived
in her mind’s eye. She lay beside a brook
that babbled in its play. A song arose
with resonance that filled her empty womb.
Its swelling sound and lithesome curves took shape,
like water ever wending ocean bound;
a journey we all make with blood that ebbs
according to a rhythm preordained.
She softly sang the notes that came to mind,
composed of love, for she would wake the babe
with this, his song. His time would soon arrive.

She waited like Rebekah at the well
to find the father of the child to come.
Skilled notes she wove to catch a conjoint heart
to share with hers, in love to make the child,
enchanted by her embryonic tune.
At length he came to quench his thirst and hers;
the music of their love profoundly moved
all those who heard their song, for from their love
new life would spring; a boy, a destiny
sublime; a boy – in short – who knew his song.
Oh, blessed indeed, for some are out of tune
and spend frenetic lives in harsh discord.

What joy, what celebration, what soft tears
accompanied the birth. In unison,
combined in single voice, the village sang
encouragement to help the new child through
his clouded days, for life’s more shadowed hours
are bleak when faced without support, bereft
of those who care. To raise a child it takes
a whole community with just one aim;
to save him from himself in times of need.
Thus strong in strength of love the man matured,
protected by the breadth of this great shield
until at last it was his time to leave

for war, as most young men will do to save
what they hold dear; for some, a war of words,
for others, strife on foreign soil with blood
and comradeship, close knit by circumstance.
It was his lot to fight a soldier’s war,
entrenched against young men he did not know
how best to hate. In those dark days he taught
his song to mates who had not learnt to sing
their childhood dreams. The words defied disease
cold steel, their fear and endless misery.
He shared his song that they might own its worth
before their lives were torn apart by guns.

He drifted back, a broken, shell-shocked man,
without the means to override the moans
whose tuneless monotone drowned out his sense
of self. His mother’s voice, though cracked and old,
still keened to comfort him, his father’s too,
and all who held him dear. In course of time,
with patient love, they nursed him back to health
until when passing by the well one day
he chanced to hear a teasing, lilting air
he recognized. He was made whole again
by limpid notes and a beguiling smile,
and his grey geese took flight and disappeared.



Image (reproduced under Creative Commons licence) by:

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