Matryoshka Doll

The four-year-old wearing her dancing dress
is pulling dolls apart in search of the smallest self.
She knows the baby when she finds it
and the nucleus knows her, how she is cradled
at the center of the world.
In return, she gives it shape.

The dolls are Russian.
Shaper carves the smallest first,
using her to measure out the rest.
She is plainsong, unison, pure voice,
a small arrival right in time.

The one who holds her
finds her note within the chord,
the chant where words agree and prayer is born –
belonging fits, a symmetry

of mind in mind, the snugness of a cap,
a canticle of fellow feeling:
how deep in we go.

We correspond; joy complete
is heart inside her heart inside my heart

dancing in December beside the blazing stove.