poem index

sign up to receive a new poem-a-day in your inbox

Recorded for Poem-a-Day, July 12, 2016.
About this Poem 

“‘After the First Child, the Second’ was composed when I was about twelve weeks pregnant with my second child. I felt suddenly that I should write as many love poems for my husband as possible in the window of time before the next baby absorbed both of us entirely. My poems are, I think, always at their best when they are urgent.”
—Mary Austin Speaker

After the First Child, the Second

            for Chris Martin

To you
through whom

these sudden days
blowse & hum

thirst & quench
a tide of tensing trees

days tick by
beats in a song

my body grows
fuller each day

I think my life
has always been

for this quiet
darkness

your forehead
& eyelashes

face pressed
to my breast

your skin a texture
electrifying

my fingertips
wool on cotton

wool on glass
the fibers rise

& I can’t sleep
for being alive
 

Copyright © 2016 by Mary Austin Speaker. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on July 12, 2016, by the Academy of American Poets.

Copyright © 2016 by Mary Austin Speaker. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on July 12, 2016, by the Academy of American Poets.

Mary Austin Speaker

Mary Austin Speaker

Mary Austin Speaker is the author of The Bridge (Shearsman Books, 2016). 

by this poet

poem

If music plays with film
then film is an illustration
of music’s movement.
Snap, blast, sever, sever, stop.
Even the dog twitching his ears.

If islands nestle in the ocean,
and a statue rises above the pilgrim,
then we are standing on a cliff
and the pilgrim has reached