My mother's an expert in one thing:
sending people she loves into the other world.
The little ones, the babies--these
she rocks, whispering or singing quietly. I can't say
what she did for my father;
whatever it was, I'm sure it was right.
It's the same thing, really, preparing a person
for sleep, for death. The lullabies--they all say
don't be afraid, that's how they paraphrase
the heartbeat of the mother.
So the living grow slowly calm; it's only
the dying who can't, who refuse.
The dying are like tops, like gyroscopes--
they spin so rapidly they seem to be still.
Then they fly apart: in my mother's arms,
my sister was a cloud of atoms, of particles--that's the difference.
When a child's asleep, it's still whole.
My mother's seen death; she doesn't talk about the soul's integrity.
She's held an infant, an old man, as by comparison the dark grew
solid around them, finally changing to earth.
The soul's like all matter:
why would it stay intact, stay faithful to its one form,
when it could be free?
Louise Gluck's Other Poems
Read this poem in other languages
This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.
Comments about this poem (Lullaby by Louise Gluck )
(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
(12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973)
(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)
(26 April 1564 - 23 April 1616)
(10 December 1830 – 15 May 1886)
Edgar Allan Poe
(19 January 1809 - 7 October 1849)
- 04 Tongues Made Of Glass, Shaun Shane
- The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
- Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
- If, Rudyard Kipling
- The Flower of Liberty, Oliver Wendell Holmes
- Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening, Robert Frost
- Daffodils, William Wordsworth
- First Day at School, Roger McGough
- Alone, Edgar Allan Poe
- If You Forget Me, Pablo Neruda
Poem of the Day
- mGIC TREE, oskar hansen
- innocence, abdirahman haaji rilwaan
- MOST LIVING PEOPLE, Michael P. Johnson
- Beautiful rose, Andytics mufc
- How Not to Play War, Ima Ryma
- We are here to sing, gajanan mishra
- The Girls And Their Peep Hole, Is It Poetry
- Goodbye dream, Marilyn Jean
- '' You're No Better Than Us '', bri mar
- Becoming Part Of Intellect, RoseAnn V. Shawiak