On Watching Nicholas Sleep
By John Delonas
How simple the side of a face,
The side of an apple,
With features scarce put upon . . .
I could not draw that--
What method would attempt it
But pastels . . .
Where the crushed grains
Of color blend in a linen fabric
Diffused by a breath of air,
Rolling colors to shape the face;
Not ending, but fading,
A silhouette of shadows of colors:
Blow blushing white
Where it begins? Where it ends?
But that is my child,
Yet unborn from the colorless fabric
Here beating a heart flicking shade
And color so we can know our own.
Touch not with preservative,
To glue pebbles to their path,
Let Nature and the air
Make riot of this harmony,
And end it subduingly with a brush.
Better than States and men
Who have no loving breath,
Nor know the flick of gentle tufts;
These apprentices would crude erase,
And leave a black smear where a child slept,
And a gouge in the paper that bore him.