To My Son
Welcome, you, so small and strange. I cannot think your gift is due; Need that drinks away the guilt Of carelessly conceiving you. Never in your teens and twenties May I turn around and say: The balm of need is all forgotten; Children for their succour pay. Never as you grow to manhood May I feed your need for me, Breeding up a lolling monster, Guarding you from living free. Can you hear my prayers, my child, Deaf and dumb and blind in sleep? Perfect witness to a promise Mothers almost never keep.