To the sultry roll of a mandolin,
your child came.
Not my child, you understand, but yours:
The bastard son of a father who left him
in my fumbling hands,
Outstretched, and ready to receive the head,
just starting to crown.
I thought it would be loud—
The wail of an out of tune fiddle;
a banjo with a missing string.
But the evening is still,
The only sound the mandolin.
Its decaying tremolo,
A silent music, and quiet, as we wait:
You working, I with baited breath,
Of the cry that’s yet to come.