Wisdom will not be restrained to a book or the language of mankind.
On hard earth under a merciless sun,
she cradles her babe in her arms,
eyes grace an innocent face,
dark lashes flutter in restless sleep.
There is no soft place on her body,
all roundness has shrunk to bone,
so she holds her babe to her yielding heart;
as brown eyes open,
and a small hand grasps
for her empty breast.
What wisdom does this mother have
cradled in her heart?
The child upon her thin lap no longer cries;
and soon the grasping hand falls,
the silence of unmet desire
overwhelming the clamour of her sorrow.
She cannot look away
as the hungry eyes of her child close,
heavy from the weight of emptiness,
and fading sighs escape from sweet cracked lips.
What wisdom does this woman know
about the nature of desire;
which reaches beyond the frail body
to seize moments of awe
in the presence of miracles?
How she yearns for suffering to end
and barters for the freedom of her child.
She swallows hard the din of anguish within,
and a primal urge to scream.
She pulls a threadbare shawl over her head,
sheltering them both from a cruel sun,
and softly cups the tiny chest,
faintly rising and falling now.
From somewhere in her starved mind
a lullaby is freed
and rises on her own weak breath
to sing her sweet infant to sleep.
As peace settles forever upon her child
and all the hope in the world goes still,
her song endures, stretching eternally
across a barren land.
Wisdom is always a woman.
She rises from all of creation,
bravely clutching faith in her hand.
She is sung from the lips and born on the breath
of those who never speak her name.