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A Woman Unconscious

 Russia and America circle each other;
Threats nudge an act that were without doubt 
A melting of the mould in the mother,
Stones melting about the root.
The quick of the earth burned out: The toil of all our ages a loss With leaf and insect.
Yet flitting thought (Not to be thought ridiculous) Shies from the world-cancelling black Of its playing shadow: it has learned That there's no trusting (trusting to luck) Dates when the world's due to be burned; That the future's no calamitous change But a malingering of now, Histories, towns, faces that no Malice or accident much derange.
And though bomb be matched against bomb, Though all mankind wince out and nothing endure -- Earth gone in an instant flare -- Did a lesser death come Onto the white hospital bed Where one, numb beyond her last of sense, Closed her eyes on the world's evidence And into pillows sunk her head.

Poem by Ted Hughes
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