POETRY: The Eternal Son by Li-Young Lee

December 20, 2017

Someone’s thinking about his mother tonight. The wakeful son of a parent who hardly sleeps, the sleepless father of his own restless child, God, is it you? Is it me? Do you have a mother? Who mixes flour and sugar for your birthday cake? Who stirs slumber and remembrance in a song for your bedtime? If you’re the cry enjoining dawn, who birthed you? If you’re the bell tolling night without circumference, who rocked you? Someone’s separating the white grains of his insomnia from the black seeds of his sleep. If it isn’t you, God, it must be me. My mother’s eternal son, I can’t hear the rain without thinking it’s her in the next room folding our clothes to lay inside a suitcase. And now [...]