The Child Being There [poem by John Shaw Neilson]

[Editor: This poem by John Shaw Neilson was published in Collected Poems of John Shaw Neilson (1934).]

The Child Being There

She will be looking at all the bright shops in the town,
Some like the sunrise, and some like the sun going down:
— “Such lights,” she says, “are in Heaven. Oh, that I might stare
Right in through the door into Heaven! — my child being there.”

She being so long a great sinner — ill-spoken — unwise —
Softly she goes now, and looking at God with both eyes;
And she will say at the midnight — her heart lying bare —
“Surely I have part of Heaven? — my child being there.”

Loneliness hangs on her dress — it is now the long worn:
On the shoes that are broken — the hat that has fallen forlorn:
She says: “Would God see me, I wonder now? if I should stare
Right in through the door into Heaven — my child being there.”

She will be looking at women the young and the strong,
And the frocks of the little ones laughing and dancing along:
“’Tis hard that they have all the riches!” she says in despair:
“I helped in the making of Heaven — my child being there.”

Poor though her body be, still it is goaded of Love:
— This that can hasten the tiger, and moan with the dove:
This that can make God a shadow. She says: “I will dare!
I will look for a moment in Heaven! — my Child being there.”



Source:
John Shaw Neilson (editor: R. H. Croll), Collected Poems of John Shaw Neilson, Melbourne: Lothian Publishing Company, 1934 [May 1949 reprint], pages 137-138

Speak Your Mind

*