Jairus

Jairus

So, God takes your child by the hand
and pulls her from her deathbed.
He says: 'Feed her, she is ravenous.'

You give her fruits with thick hides
- pomegranate, cantaloupe -
food with weight, to keep her here.

You hope that if she eats enough
the light and dust and love
which weave the matrix of her body

will not fray, nor wear so thin
that morning sun breaks through her,
shadowless, complete.

Somehow this reanimation
has cut sharp the fear of death,
the shock of presence. Feed her

roast lamb, egg, unleavened bread:
forget the herbs, she has an aching
fast to break. Sit by her side,

split skins for her so she can gorge,
and notice how the dawn
draws colour to her just-kissed face.


from Corpus (Cape, 2004), copyright © Michael Symmons Roberts 2004, used by permission of the author and the publisher

Recordings

Buy album £0.00

1The Lung Wash

2Sun-Dogs

3Pelt

4Ascension Day

5Mapping the Genome

6To John Donne

7Why We Are Still Waiting

8Ultramarine

9The Shortest Day

10Cats Eye

11The Structure of Genes

12JWs in NSW

13Soft Keys

14Messaien in Gurlitz 1940

15Annunciation at the Hookses

16Touched

17The Qualities of Fallout

18A Storm

19The Ram-Raid

20Strange Meeting

21Corpse

22Corporeality

23The Box

24Jairus

25Grounded

26Carnivorous - I

27Food for Risen Bodies - I

28Carnivorous - II

29Food for Risen Bodies - II

30Carnivorous - III

31Food for Risen Bodies - III

32Carnivorous - IV

33Food for Risen Bodies - IV

34Carnivorous - V

35Food for Risen Bodies - V

36The Frequency

37Food for Risen Bodies - VI

38Anatomy of a Perfect Dive

39Smithereens

40The Gifts

41Replica

42The Botanical Gardens

43Compline

Books by Michael Symmons Roberts