I’d whooping cough, so I was told,
at six weeks, or more likely six months, old;
and I recall as though it were today
what must have been a fierce cough racking me
although I seem outside my own distress
till I can breathe again. Primal, it’s less
a memory than something I still feel,
as real as now is. There’s a woman’s pale
face looking on, upset: I’m sure, my aunt’s;
and I am being held, although I can’t
feel mother’s arms: I seem to float
mid-air. It’s murky, from my sight
being still weak, I suppose; but I’m aware
of the pale face, and larger paleness where
I’ll later know one looks out at a carn.
This is where I was for an instant born
into myself, a being in the world,
and I don’t feel the cough, nor being held,
but love I see and feel. Including light.
And both seem known to me, and infinite.