The Myth of Embracing*
Even in this furious sunlight,
the pine’s long arms form the promises
of circles, incomplete and longing for the sky,
where a mourning dove leaves curve trails
as its wings suggest huggings of the world
that just keep coming up with air—travel
is incidental. Our bodies curve, too.
The longest laugh, like pain, eventually
bends chest to knees, everything surrounding the heart.
When my daughter was born, her shocked eyes,
smeared face, jerking arms wanted something,
one perfect thing to calm the frigid light.
She screamed, like pines and doves unable to hug
completely. Embracing is a myth:
our arms grow strong for all we cannot hold.
*Between 1986 and 1995 I published mostly poems. This one appeared in slightly different form in The Hampden-Sydney Poetry Review (Winter, 1991).