Rocking the Baby

I hear her rocking the baby--
Her room is next to mine--
And I fancy I feel the dimpled arms
That round her neck entwine,
As she rocks and rocks the baby,
In the room just next to mine.

I hear her rocking the baby
Each day when the twilight comes,
And I know there's a world of blessing and love
In the 'baby by' she hums.

I can see the restless fingers
Playing with 'mamma's rings,'
The sweet little smiling, pouting mouth
That to hers in kissing clings,
As she rocks and sings to the baby,
And dreams as she rocks and sings.

I hear her rocking the baby,
Slower and slower now,
And I hear she is leaving her good-night kiss
On its eyes, and cheek and brow.

From her rocking, rocking, rocking,
I wonder would she start
Could she know, through the wall between us,
She is rocking on a heart?
While my empty arms are aching
For a form they may not press,--
And my empty heart is breaking
In its desolate loneliness.

I list to the rocking, rocking,
In the room just next to mine,
And breathe a prayer in silence,
At a mother's broken shrine,
For the woman who rocks the baby
In the room just next to mine.

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Submitted on May 13, 2011


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