Read Poems by
MY POEM, MY CHILD
Conception and perception swell
til my poem is born, squalls at its own thin skin.
Happiness! This is how art begins, a verse
to nurse, to rock, as wonderment slowly opens.
Soon, a stanza toddles, uncertain of where to go.
See the twinkle, the peek-a-boo dimple, the stubborn
try-try again? Hear the burble, the wail,
the fumbling whimper, the haunting murmur?
The imp is mothered, though not smothered
with too much affection or too much pride.
Love urges exploration, evolution,
as the poem grows, dares to climb and reach,
and though wayward, I kiss its uplifted cheek,
send it to school, where great numbers
will teach it a thousand concepts, a thousand
possibilities; it may squirm on its seat,
scrape its knees, stammer, develop a crush,
stand all alone while the well-meaning ridicule,
then laugh at its own absurdity, bravely change,
rearrange itself without my permission
as it matures, outthinks me and leaves.
I gift it independence, never overprotect.
It will pack its bags and find a lonely reader,
who will circle words, add question marks,
a ridiculous curlicue, where there was none,
and six odd words will woo a highlighter,
a last line might be underscored,
beside it, a grumble, Why isn’t there more?
The question will grow, far from the page.
The reader will awaken, pick up a pen,
and though I am dead, long forgotten,
my little poem might grow within him.