W. D. Ehrhart  

Some Other World

    Was there ever a moment
more perfect than this?
The house all dark, the wind
at the windows, the warmth
of your body against my chest,
and you asleep in my arms.

I thought for awhile
you would never stop crying:
the knife-edged howl, the sucking
gasps, the quivering lower lip—
but I'm learning what troubles
an infant's dreams can be soothed
with patience and time.

Once, before you were born,
I watched for a moment
an egret ascend from a pond
with the grace of a whisper.
And once I dreamed a man
with a rifle refused to take aim;
I awoke to a sadness
deeper than dreams.

And I'm wishing this moment
could last forever; I'm wishing
the things that trouble my dreams
could be kept outside like the wind.
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    Copyright © 1990 by W. D. Ehrhart
Just for Laughs, Viet Nam Generation & Burning Cities Press, 1990
This poem currently appears in Thank You For Your Service: Collected Poems, McFarland & Company, 2019

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