An African Carol

These eyes are eloquent but sealed
(as the fate of the skull which holds them)
alive but fast losing,
lips cling to the leather mothermilk purse
whose widow’s mite is spent.

Tiny the magazine photo
Which unprised my eye,
Infant face of dessicated flesh,
Lids laced with the diaphanous beauty
Of flies’ wings:
A precise and deadly filigree.

Tiny the span here between
adonna and pieta,
innocence and experience.

O young decrepitude
O new-born ancient of days-
What child is this
Whom shepherds starve
And angels weep?
Lullay, lullay thou tiny child,

Suffering / Poverty