Blessed Be the Calving

by Cathryn Shea

Forget complaints, candle-light fringed,
personal beasts muttering
like rows of folding chairs
before a concert.

I read the future in the crystal bowl
that once belonged to a grandmother.
It saw her wedding.
How many ambrosias since?
Sweating glaciers send postcards of themselves.
Empire’s response a Panglossian hosanna:
Blessed be the calving.

Some unexpected news:
A heartburn medication may have caused
a distant relative’s cancer.
They may qualify for a cash award.
As if it matters, now that their heart burns
and a tumor grows inside.

At least no ancestor of mine was left
on a doorstep (that I know of).
At least a little token of them
is not on view at the Foundling Museum,
a small charm engraved with “Mariah.”
At least the tether between mother and child
was not severed, the birthright slate wiped clean.

Newspapers unfold their dated bulletins,
the placement of urgency beckons.
Scholars of nothing in particular
with their continuum of effort
fill dustbins of the internet.
Lamps still lit scorch their way to and fro
and I am awed in the slack-jawed dawn.