Sonnet of Motherhood XXVII – Zora Bernice May Cross

O, not alone I weave this miracle
Of glowing spirit from my body’s zone.

With every moment of the life unknown

You feed the glory of a growing cell.

All day I think of you, and night must tell

Dreams of my dreams unto your heart alone;

So, seeing you, I take you, O my own,

Into my child where first you wrought Life’s spell.

Dearest, as much as I, you breathe in pain,

Breeding yourself—your very soul from me

By look and sign, soft word and action strong,

And all you longed for in its form regain.

I am a humble haven where we three,

Father and child and mother, make a song. 

Sonnet of Motherhood XXXI – Zora Bernice May Cross

Beloved, I who shall be mother soon 

Need mothering myself this tired hour,

As heavily the sweet and precious power

Weighs on my heart till I am near to swoon.

Console me, soothe me, Dearest, with the boon

Of your firm strength, and little comforts shower

Soft on the drifting doubtings that devour

Patience and courage when the death-winds croon.
You are your mother, Dear, as I am mine.

And, as we slumber to our souls’ caress,

Those two who panged for us and weeping smiled,

Draw near and bind us in a peace divine.

O mother me; all else is comfortless

As painted lips above a dying child. 

The Fairie’s Fair – Zora Bernice May Cross

Who’s that dancing on the moonlight air, 

Heel tapping, Toe-heel rapping? 

Oberon opening the fairies’ fair 

To jig away sorrow on the grave of Care.

Come along, old folk, cold fork, bold folk, 

Drop your shears at the midnight stroke. 

Elves are crying: “Who’ll come buying 

Jugs of Joy from a fairy’s cloak?” 

Mab is sitting on a silver shoe, 

Bright eyes laughing, Light lips quaffing 

Airy bubbles from a cup of dew, 

Her bracelets tinkle with delights for you. 

Come along tall folk, small folk, all folk, 

Race the stream where the fat frogs croak, 

Buy a bobbin! There goes Robin 

Tying Time to a daisy’s yoke! 

The New Moon – Zora Bernice May Cross

What have you got in your knapsack fair,

White moon, bright moon, pearling the air,

Spinning your bobbins and fabrics free,

Fleet moon, sweet moon, in to the sea?

Turquoise and beryl and rings of gold,

Clear moon, dear moon, ne’er to be sold?

Roses and lilies, romance and love,

Still moon, chill moon, swinging above?

Slender your feet as a white birds throat,

High moon, shy moon, drifting your boat

Into the murk of the world awhile,

Slim moon, dim moon, adding a smile.

Tender your eyes as a maiden’s kiss,

Fine moon, wine moon, no one knows this,

Under the spell of your witchery,

Dream moon, cream moon, first he kissed me. 

One Art – Elizabeth Bishop

The art of losing isn’t hard to master; 

so many things seem filled with the intent

to be lost that their loss is no disaster,

Lose something every day. Accept the fluster

of lost door keys, the hour badly spent.

The art of losing isn’t hard to master.

Then practice losing farther, losing faster:

places, and names, and where it was you meant

to travel. None of these will bring disaster.
I lost my mother’s watch. And look! my last, or

next-to-last, of three loved houses went.

The art of losing isn’t hard to master.
I lost two cities, lovely ones. And, vaster,

some realms I owned, two rivers, a continent.

I miss them, but it wasn’t a disaster.
– Even losing you (the joking voice, a gesture

I love) I shan’t have lied. It’s evident

the art of losing’s not too hard to master

though it may look like (Write it!) like disaster. 

North Haven – Elizabeth Bishop

In Memoriam: Robert Lowell 
I can make out the rigging of a schooner

a mile off; I can count

the new cones on the spruce. It is so still

the pale bay wears a milky skin; the sky

no clouds except for one long, carded horse¹s tail.
The islands haven’t shifted since last summer,

even if I like to pretend they have–

drifting, in a dreamy sort of way,

a little north, a little south, or sidewise–

and that they¹re free within the blue frontiers of bay.
This month our favorite one is full of flowers:

buttercups, red clover, purple vetch,

hackweed still burning, daisies pied, eyebright,

the fragrant bedstraw’s incandescent stars,

and more, returned, to paint the meadows with delight.
The goldfinches are back, or others like them,

and the white-throated sparrow’s five-note song,

pleading and pleading, brings tears to the eyes.

Nature repeats herself, or almost does:

repeat, repeat, repeat; revise, revise, revise.
Years ago, you told me it was here

(in 1932?) you first “discovered girls”

and learned to sail, and learned to kiss.

You had “such fun,” you said, that classic summer.

(“Fun”–it always seemed to leave you at a loss…)
You left North Haven, anchored in its rock,

afloat in mystic blue…And now–you’ve left

for good. You can’t derange, or rearrange,

your poems again. (But the sparrows can their song.)

The words won’t change again. Sad friend, you cannot change. 

Manners – Elizabeth Bishop 

My grandfather said to me

as we sat on the wagon seat,

“Be sure to remember to always

speak to everyone you meet.”
We met a stranger on foot.

My grandfather’s whip tapped his hat.

“Good day, sir. Good day. A fine day.”

And I said it and bowed where I sat.
Then we overtook a boy we knew

with his big pet crow on his shoulder.

“Always offer everyone a ride;

don’t forget that when you get older,”
my grandfather said. So Willy

climbed up with us, but the crow

gave a “Caw!” and flew off. I was worried.

How would he know where to go?
But he flew a little way at a time

from fence post to fence post, ahead;

and when Willy whistled he answered.

“A fine bird,” my grandfather said,
“and he’s well brought up. See, he answers

nicely when he’s spoken to.

Man or beast, that’s good manners.

Be sure that you both always do.”
When automobiles went by,

the dust hid the people’s faces,

but we shouted “Good day! Good day!

Fine day!” at the top of our voices.
When we came to Hustler Hill,

he said that the mare was tired, 

so we all got down and walked,

as our good manners required.