Verse > Anthologies > Harriet Monroe, ed. > Poetry: A Magazine of Verse, 1912–22
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Harriet Monroe, ed. (1860–1936).  Poetry: A Magazine of Verse.  1912–22.
 
Sleep the Mother
By Florence Kiper Frank
 
From “For Barbara”
Aged three and a little over

SLEEP, the mother,
Has taken her over.
She has slipped from my arms
Into the arms of this other,
Who has touched her softly,        5
Who has flushed her with dreaming.
This is not the same
Sleep who gathers men
Heavy with labor,
Women drugged with pleasure.        10
This is the mother
Of little children only,
Moving as a wind
From white spaces,
Flushing their faces        15
With a soft flame, holily;
To whom the mothers of the earth
Give up their children
Joyously, with a clean gladness,
With only a little sadness,        20
Such as hurts mothers
For their mortality.
For they remember also,
Remembering swiftly,
Death too is a mother!        25
 
But now her lashes curl delicately,
The blue veins of her eyelids
Show sweetly in the soft skin,
Her red mouth droops slowly….
 
Hovering over        30
The child she is holding
Is Sleep, the white mother,
With arms enfolding!
 
 
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