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The Child and the Cathedral - Gwendolyn MacEwan - matters_of_importance

About The Child and the Cathedral - Gwendolyn MacEwan

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The Child and the Cathedral
     Gwendolyn MacEwan (1941-1987)
     The T.E. Lawrence Poems, 1982



It was in the white light of a dreadful afternoon
	that I saw the child.  She wore a bright
White dress and was playing with a ball in front
Of the cathedral.  I knew
			   she was animal; in my hatred
Of animals I began to balance her
				  against the cathedral.

If I had to sacrifice one of them, I asked myself - 
	which would it be?
			    I knew it was
The cathedral.  I would destroy it to save her.

Another time I swerved at sixty miles an hour
To save some damned little bird that dashed itself out
	against my side-car.  Why did it have to
Kill itself against me, for God's sake, why me?

Don't they know their existence wounds me, don't
They know I am the victim of such loveliness
	I want to die in it and cannot?
DOn't they know the hatred and fear and pity go on and on
And turn into love, horrible love that bashes
	its brains out against the light?


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