“I went to the Cloisters [Museum] twice and I particularly remember one statue that I saw there. It was the Virgin holding the Christ child and both were laughing: not smiling, laughing. I’ve never seen models of it anywhere but I was greatly taken with it and should I ever get back to the Cloisters . . . I mean to see if it is there.”
If she can laugh, I have no cause to grieve.
Her life a wreck in the neighbors’ eyes—
that baby-out-of-nowhere, that husband
fooled into loving what they would despise,
a man who didn’t know enough to leave,
git out while the gittin’ was good.
She did what no sane woman would,
raised this foundling with her own hand,
then stood aside while he bled and died.
We all know what happens in the end.
And yet she laughs a mother’s laugh
while all the universe looks on,
blind to the future, deaf to the past,
smitten with that laughing son.