The Man of Two Sorrows

Michael Longley
Since the day after he was conceived his father
Was killed, he will become The Man of Two Sorrows Whose mother is wading into the river to delay
His birth, squatting all night on a stepping stone That flattens his head, headstone pressing fontanel, Waters breaking under water that nearly drowns him, Until the morning when he is born and she dies
And the drops of first milk vanish in the river.
Page 1, Poetry Ireland Review Issue 26