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Charles Simic - The Oldest Child

The night still frightens you.
You know it is interminable
And of vast, unimaginable dimensions.
"That's because His insomnia is permanent,"
You've read some mystic say.
Is it the point of His schoolboy's compass
That pricks your heart?

Somewhere perhaps the lovers lie
Under the dark cypress trees,
Trembling with happiness,
But here there's only your beard of many days
And a night moth shivering
Under your hand pressed against your chest.

Oldest child, Prometheus
Of some cold, cold fire you can't even name
For which you're serving slow time
With that night moth's terror for company.

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The Oldest Child - Comments and Information

Poet: Charles Simic
Poem: The Oldest Child
Volume: A Wedding In Hell
Year: Published/Written in 1994
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