Sunday, August 26, 2012


It seems it*s not only parents that sway by way of calming their babies.  I notice it sometimes in others, sometimes in myself, sometimes in the mentally ill.  It seems to come from somewhere way back as our genes were formed.

Years ago I stood
In back of a church
In Ypsilanti,
Baby boy in my arms.
I swayed
As mothers do
As fathers do.
It seems
An automatic
Calming sway
Arrives at birth.
The man in the pew
Across the aisle
Rocked and swayed.
There was no baby,
No wind,
No music.
In the pauses I heard
His whisper
As he swayed.
Now I think he may have been
Today we stood in back
As ushers.
We watched children,
Old people, young.
One woman swayed in the back pew,
New babe
In arms.
Another man
Two pews up
Swayed in rhythm
To nothing I could hear or see.
Now I wonder if there might be
A universal calming sway
Installed in us
From the very beginning;
If perhaps
We can re-calibrate our ears
Our eyes
Our hips
To rock from one side
To the other
And back again;
To remember
The sway.

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