variation on gaining a son :: rita dove

That shy angle of his daughter’s head–
where did they all learn it?
And her soldier at tender attention,
waiting for the beloved to slide out
beneath the veil. Thomas knew

what he’d find there–a mocking smile, valiant
like that on the smooth face of the young sergeant
drilled neatly through the first minute of battle.
Women called it offering up a kiss.

He watched the bridegroom swallow.
For the first time Thomas felt like
calling him Son.

Courtesy of S.L.