The Cradle


The Cradle.
Inspired by Berthe Morisot’s Painting.

With innate skill, a young mother lays
her baby to rest in her pretty cradle.
The weakened sun bequeaths its rays
enhanced by a corner lamp on a nearby table.
Shadows jump, and tease and pout
as the gossamer drapes float free of restraint.
The gentle breeze wafts in and out
scented with summer roses. And though very faint
sonorous chimes call folk to the church.
On a hill in the distance the cows are lowing,
calling for milking at Warbler’s Perch,
the farmhouse with only the chimneys showing.

The mother strokes her child’s cheek,
her expression tender, filled with pride.
The baby resembles a fragile doll; antique,
china perhaps; with delicate skin, blue-eyed
with rosebud mouth, and tiny wisps of baby hair.
The child stirs, and the mother leans forward.
Her expression is tender, full of care,
as she checks there is nothing untoward.

The baby lies relaxed and serene, asleep at last.
The woman rises, closes the window
to shut out stray sounds and the cooling draughts.
The evening sky has deepened from grey to indigo,
though still glowing orange in the west.
Checking the child once more as she passes,
the woman reflects on how she is blessed.
There is nothing, she thinks, that surpasses
the fulfillment of motherhood. No love exists
that can compare with the feelings that abound
in her breast, the maternal bliss, so deep and profound.

Morisot captures the sweet innocence of the child,
and the mother’s tender observance, rapt attention
and concern. Who could not be beguiled?
The Cradle encapsulates love, despite its convention.



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