Light was being, held by her own hands or
touched like water burning bare skin.
In the beginning meant learning to see: a thousand
kinds of green, the vine-crawl along rocks,
the groping mouths of flowers. In the beginning
all they knew was yes, so when the first no
settled quietly around the tree
they thought it birdsong, it took days or weeks
for them to even notice its echo
in the leaves, an absence really, the start of loss.
Later, when the suffering began, who could
she turn to and say: I didn’t ask to be born,
squatting, the light separate and cold, distant
as God, and she, already, refusing to kneel.
Ann Marie Macari
Book One is reprinted from Gloryland (Alice James Books, 2005).