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Adult Cradle, circa 1800

—Concord, MA



Against these walls, too thin, a
wooden giant leans. In dimness
we mistake it for a coffin, or chrysalis.
We rock myths in the cradle.

Fire crackles in the hearth
as snowstorms pit the panes. Nearby, babies
sleep in miniature, with a hood
and crescent moon, while this container’s

spindles hook to gasp—wish—canopy
left off reveals interior and injury.
Release the platform from its ring, consecrate
the boards with body, warm, immobile.

The rocker, shaker-made, allows the parent
to be seen by flame, a small winged form
beneath sheet or bedclothes, still
growing ever smaller.




  1. Bada Yusuf Amoo on

    What a sorrowful scene. Children in terror, watching a coffin. Fine painting in words.

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