September 10, 2003

Its That Time of the Month Again

The Second Child
--Deborah Garrison

You see I, too,
was second in order. Two.

Before you arrived
for a time I cried

nightly at the fattening, spelling the end
of our tight, well-tended

trio. The carefully scheduled bliss
of bath and bed--luxurious

brace of both to read a single book,
darting between us, her drinking-all-in, wee weighty look,

her finger gesture toward some new developmental toy
or crystal bit of babble our post-crib nightcap, rehashed joy...

Now no rehash, littler miss,
of your darting, airy imitation of her searing kiss:

down babyhood's brief corridor you disappear behind
her, teh master dancer, your tutor in body and mind,

you not just child but sister. And while
she--so fierce, perversely proud--will not be child

but childhood's star, and pound the trail
and suffer in her art and, hell or high, refuse to fail

(you see it hurts, I love her so),
you will carelessly, sly, my sidelong darling, go

after, fisrt toddling understudy, then patiently aslant
toward something other, invited by a glint I can't

discount. When your delighted eyes
dance at her back, assess the scene, I surmise

the end, and your means
to i. Like me--

for now I see, you showed me--
you'll be happy.

have a great weekend. back monday.


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