Gargoyle 11
cover etching by Scott McIntyre
publication date 5/25/1979

To Speak Your Name

Adelaide Blomfield

Unaware as a child beneath a soaping
cloth, sleeping you grew in my hands, your name
round on my tongue until my mouth became
your morning. Under blankets groping
hands touched my head. Feigning sleep, you led
me until all the insistent utterings
of the blood were called and the answer
came in words neither spoken nor needed.
Always I likened that sudden quickening
to wide water stirred when wind drops down
and one wakened bird in enameled sound
breaks the peripheries of silence. Then
it was to hold the bird’s broken throat
in my hands, to feel the last dying notes.