Saint Monica

by Ethan McGuire

The mother looks down and adores the babe
cradled in her firm and gentle arms;
the baby peers up at his mother,
reaching tiny fingers to her cheeks,
cheeks rosy from dishes, laundry, sacrifice.

The mother rocks her babe and gently sings
songs from the past and written anew,
songs from beneath her heart and her fears;
the baby squints and opens wide brown eyes,
laughing and crying to hear his mother’s voice.

A beautiful face, a beautiful voice:
These things treat the baby’s senses first,
and though the mother will teach him truth—
the truths of life and of life beyond this life—
beauty builds truth’s way inside the child’s young mind.

Ethan McGuire is a writer and a healthcare cybersecurity professional whose essays, fiction, poetry, and reviews have appeared in Calla PressThe DispatchEmerald Coast ReviewFoundling HouseLiterary MattersThe New Verse NewsTime of Singing, and The University Bookman, among other publications. He lives with his wife and their daughter in the Florida Panhandle on the Gulf of Mexico.

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