Monday, March 25, 2013
She slept like a tadpole face-down, infant knees
bent to kick, still swimming in the amnion.
My arms, blaming the lightness of air when new mothers
strolled by, now held a burden: 18 years.
After all my dreams, I was the innocent,
her mews a language more difficult than cats'.
At ten months she ripped rubber nipple from bottle, drank
milk like a beer-hound, at one year spoke: See da light!
Three years old, she belied the Monet mood of dimity dress
and bonnet I'd sewn, instructing me never to hit. Bit by a dog
at six, cheek bearing ten stitches, she fended off questions:
I'd rather not say. We called her Sarah Bernhardt.
Her twelfth birthday wish, the complete works
of Shakespeare, foretold the drama of her teens.
What could we talk about? I was brought up to behave,
bewildered by a frog princess who could be heard for miles.
A ring-tongued, Mohawked Tarot reader, a hefty bike babe,
she teaches me computer skills, and I accommodate the real.
(This poem is featured in my collection Time Warp)