Sunday, July 18, 2010

The third that lay in our embrace

This poem has been flying around my head lately and I thought I'd share it in full here.

Woman to Man
by Judith Wright

The eyeless labourer in the night,
the selfless, shapeless seed I hold,
builds for its resurrection day -
silent and swift and deep from sight
foresees the unimagined light.

This is no child with a child's face;
this has no name to name it by:
yet you and I have known it well.
This is our hunter and our chase,
the third that lay in our embrace.

This is the strength that your arm knows,
the arc of flesh that is my breast,
the precise crystals of our eyes.
This is the blood's wild tree that grows
the intricate and folded rose.

This is the maker and the made;
this is the question and reply;
the blind head butting at the dark,
the blaze of light along the blade.
Oh hold me, for I am afraid.

I wish I had more time and space to think in poems, I have a busy few months ahead: teaching a new course at Melbourne Uni, a week's regional tour during the writer's festival, rewriting Only Ever Always (which I am beginning to suspect I shall be writing Only Ever and Always), a few gigs in Book Week, beginning a new project for which I have received my first ever grant (Vic Arts) and all the while finishing off the making a baby.

However, things have been deceptively quiet this last week. I've been settling Una into a new routine - she's switched from three days at her creche to one day at her creche and three shorter days at the council kinder 10 minutes down the road. This was partly because as much as I love her creche I was sick of the drive. Partly because she kept saying, "I love the teachers and I love the kids but I don't like the creche" (which I think means she's getting bored after a year and a half) and partly because as her first year at school looms closer, with no other prospective enrollments, it suddenly seemed very important for her to have the opportunity to mix with kids closer by, kids she might encounter again at the market or in ballet classes.

Now she's started and happy with the change, I really have to settle myself into the new routine as well. Or before I know it, the third that lay in our embrace will be here, with a name to name it by, and my time will shrink down to the size of a sparkle in a baby's eye.


  1. My favourite trilogy of poems. Last year I read a series of her letters to her lover Jack McKinney and edited by their daughter.

    The Equal Heart and Mind: Letters between Judith Wright and Jack McKinney.

    Find it and read it. A lovely way to spend a few Sunday arvos.

  2. my great grandma,
    nice to see it here :)

  3. Frangipani7:26 PM

    Plus a mum who has given penni some worry in the past 3 weeks. Is that all it has been? It looks like the cancer has been removed and radiotherapy down the track will take care of the rest.

  4. You and your in-between person were in my thoughts today. A little boy. Swimming inside you. It's really very awesome.