Saturday, August 3, 2013

The City Surgery

Look from the high hospital window
Upon a city vast and vaporous
Like its people, car lights coursing
Through street-veins, life
Beating, streaming underneath
The nocturnal orb, bright, steady
Like the light over a surgery table

Nine floors up, nine hours out
Past the noon-day operation
That brought us to this
Window, watching a city to which
We do not exist, ghosts
Like the Spirit that hovers over,
Cutting, stitching, breaking, mending
The never-sleeping Nineveh
Even now. Why should He not care?

Turn to the dim hospital room
This side of the soundless glass
Between us and the city surgery,
My wife alongside the crib, asleep
A moment, before machines
By the bed begin their blinking, beeping,
Signs of life of the little one within:

The baby in the hospital bed
Sutured, in patched slumber,
The short-breathed city beneath
Her deep sighs, a speck of light
Above the bright alleys, hidden
Like the life beating, streaming
Through secret vein-streets;
The soundly-sleeping girl
A city unto herself.

And the Spirit, like a surgeon,
Hovers over the hospital baby bed
As over a complex civilization,
As over the genesis deep, knowing
How long to cut,
How wide to open,
How deep to heal
Eyes and minds in the dark,
Hearts He buried Himself
Three days in the belly of earth
To quicken, coming forth, soon,
Like the sun over this great city:
"Little girl, I say to you, arise."

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