Winter 2001


Jay Liveson


What should have been announced
by wailing of a siren, slipped by
as a whisper in the night.
The pallor of your skin matched
the cream of your crib linen.
It seemed as if peace had descended
on you--our sleeping infant.
It seemed as if some gracious hand
had calmed your membranous lids
had settled their gentle tremor. 
No more restless movements.
Breezes no longer teased
white crests into the waves. 
And this calm--when did it evolve
into terror?  After that forever moment
when I lay my head against your breast
heard its hollow silence?
After the frantic pressing of my mouth
to your so miniature lips?
Or only after all had come and gone,
while we finally stood embracing
beside your empty crib, when we recognized
the new vacancy that filled our lives?

Jay Liveson is a New York Neurologist specializing in Clinical Neurophysiology. The author of several textbooks in his field, he was awarded the first Visiting Professorship in Neurology by Tel Aviv University, where he has been teaching since the Gulf War.  He has published 4 books of poetry, his poems, in both English and Hebrew, appearing in many poetry and medical journals.

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