For Leila Means Night and Night Is Beautiful to the Desert Mind—for my daughter

Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear; you are more valuable than many sparrows (Lk 12:7).
                            

But the ends of the earth
writhe in crazy fire, so I narrow
my eyes to count each strand
upon your sweet and tender head,

Advertisement

replenished by their number.
Midway in this thicket, a father
now, my own skull bared
by time’s flames, today I learn

for the first time the inside
of a girl’s hair, to brush the hair
beneath the hair. The generous

scalp might give them up to brush,
the brush might give them up to trash,
but I will hoard their beautiful night.

but I will hoard their beautiful night

 

Comments are automatically closed two weeks after an article's initial publication. See our comments policy for more.

Advertisement

The latest from america

So what does it matter what a celibate woman thinks about contraception?
Helena BurnsJuly 20, 2018
Former US President Barack Obama gestures to the crowd, during an event in Kogelo, Kisumu, Kenya, Monday, July 16, 2018. (AP Photo Brian Inganga)
In Johannesburg, Obama gave what some commentators consider his most important speech since he vacated the Oval Office.
Anthony EganJuly 20, 2018
With his "Mass," Leonard Bernstein uses liturgy to give voice to political unease.
Kevin McCabeJuly 20, 2018
Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick, retired archbishop of Washington, arrives for the Jan. 6 installation Mass of Cardinal Joseph W. Tobin at the Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart in Newark, N.J. (CNS photo/Bob Roller)
Women often “bring up the voice of those who are the most vulnerable in our society,” says Hans Zollner, S.J., who heads the Centre for Child Protection in Rome.