When the tide is filled and swollen,
When the moon is cold and round,
When the kids are gone and frozen,
When there’s no more coin to be found.
When the dearth of eyes beholden
To one another’s minds,
When the barren mother’s omen
Shudders her own breath in kind.
When the puppets in the windshield
Beckon not the emptiness of kin,
When the alligator's tooth
Behooves not its golden skin.
When the leopard’s dead and olden
In yonder child’s former room;
When the dust has settled, broken,
In the crevices of your broom.
When the force of nature empties
Of what you first thought of when you had kids,
When the bathroom’s lip is stolen,
And there’s no one spraying mist.
When their games are bought and sodden,
When the cuckoo cries at dawn,
When the playground’s crass and barren,
When you’ve monogrammed your brow.
When the first of few are chosen,
When the last of you remain:
Do not go on and show them,
Do not reveal your pain.
-- From "The Womb" by Daniel Viragh