Virgin and Child

I'll say that there are bits of gold

 blue slivers at the edge of the painting

that seem to dance in the light

 from the fire. I'll say there's a fire

even thought there can't be

and I'll say the painting is as large as a room

and it can be. She moves in it

as if it is a room,

the gold bits gleaming like candles

that consume nothing, not even themselves.

The child crawls out of her arms

and onto the floor

and his plump wrists

and knees

are like loaves of bread,

his mouth smells of milk,

his palms are so tiny

there's no room for even one nail-hole.

She steps out of the frame,

her hair sparkling

and the background to everything lapis lazuli and glittering,

and when she calls to him, clapping

and laughing,

he hurtles toward her,

on all fours of course,

and she catches him up

and swings him over her head,

and her hair with the stars pinned in it

and the dancing blue background

slip backward into space

and it is the child's face

risen now, looking down,

into her face,

mother and son

meeting each other's eyes

as we look on.